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narcan aug18

Over the past year, coverage of the opioid crisis has become a staple in Canada’s media landscape, with articles, opinion pieces and interviews dominating headlines and local news stations on a daily basis.

In 2016 there were at least 2,458 deaths due to opioid overdose nationally, and every day, 13 Canadians were hospitalized for opioid poisoning. Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information indicates that seniors have the highest rates of hospitalizations related to opioid poisoning (1) , while youth (aged 15-24) have the fastest growth rate in hospitalizations (2).

While most media coverage looks to illicit use of opioids and marginalized members of society, it’s just one part of the story that seems to be drawing the attention.

In fact, statistics show that Canada is the second leading country in prescription opioids on a per-capita basis, demonstrating that issues with opioid dependence can affect all walks of society, highlighting a much larger issue at hand (3). Very often people are unaware of the dangers of inadvertently misusing opioid prescription drugs, whether it's taking the wrong dosage or taking it at the same time as other medication.

In reality, anyone taking a prescription opioid may be vulnerable to overdose, but according to a survey conducted by Adapt Pharma, 92 percent of Canadians believe that the issue of opioid poisoning and overdoses is related to those addicted to illicit opioid street drugs (4)

"With so many Canadians affected by opioid poisoning, we continue to support increasing the awareness, education, and organizations that address the risks of opioid use and overdose," said David Renwick, General Manager of Adapt Pharma Canada. “We will continue to work diligently with community stakeholders, first responders and government agencies to ensure broad access to NARCAN™ Nasal Spray.”

For more information, visit narcannasalspray.ca.

(1) National Report: Apparent Opioid-related Deaths (2016). Available at https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-abuse/prescription-drug-abuse/opioids/
. Accessed September 2017.
(2) Mental Illness and Addictions: Facts and Statistics. Available at http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/for_reporters/Pages/addictionmental
. Accessed September 2017.
(3) First do no harm: responding to Canada’s prescription drug crisis. National Advisory Council on Prescription Drug Misuse. March 2013. Available at http://www.ccsa.ca/Resource%20Library/Canada-Strategy-Prescription-Drug-Misuse-Report-en.pdf. Accessed September 2017.
(4) Perceptions of Opioid Overdose in Canada. Angus Reid Forum survey. Commissioned by Adapt Pharma Canada. August 15-16. The margin of error is +/- 2.7%, 19 times out of 20.