Opioid crisis continues to serious public health issues
July 19, 2019
Global Korean Post
The opioid crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health issues in Canada’s recent history. At the same time, the rise of methamphetamine use most notably in the Prairie provinces, presents unique challenges and serious health harms. Additional measures are needed to both address the opioid crisis and respond to emerging threats, like methamphetamines.
The Government of Canada is providing up to an additional $76.2 million to address the opioid crisis and problematic substance use, bringing the total recent investment to more than $100 million, including $30.5 million from Budget 2019. These investments include:
- $41.8 million to scale up key life-saving measures in underserved communities,
- $33.6 million to mitigate the impacts of the illegal drug supply, and
- $31.3 million to identify and address emerging drug threats, and the growing use of methamphetamines.
To support the smaller cities, rural communities and remote regions increasingly affected by the opioid crisis, the Government of Canada is expanding access to key life-saving measures.
This includes distributing naloxone kits and providing opioid overdose response training to individuals, staff and volunteers at public facilities as well as incorporating overdose response training into existing first aid training programs. The Government will also support projects that offer new or expanded access to harm reduction services, provide opioid agonist treatment in underserved communities and help to connect people to health and social services.
The latest national data indicates that 11,577 apparent opioid-related deaths occurred between January 2016 and December 2018.
Naloxone is proven to temporarily reverse opioid overdoses. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control estimated that from April 2016 to December 2017, 1,580 deaths were averted in B.C. alone because of take-home naloxone kits.