Infographic: Opioid-related harms in Canada


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Organization: Health Canada

Type: Infographic

Published: 2018-06-19


3,987 apparent opioid-related deaths occurred in 2017.

This means about 11 lives were lost each day related to opioids.

  • Circles indicate number of deaths
  • Rate per 100,000 population
Map of Canada
Province/territory Rate range per 100,000 population in 2017 Number of deaths
British ColumbiaFootnote a 20.0 and higher 1,470
Alberta 15.0 to 19.9 759
SaskatchewanFootnote b 0.0 to 4.9 46
Manitoba 5.0 to 9.9 122
Ontario 5.0 to 9.9 1,263
QuebecFootnote c 0.0 to 4.9 181
New Brunswick 0 to 4.9 37
Nova Scotia 5.0 to 9.9 65
Prince Edward IslandFootnote b 0.0 to 4.9 3
Newfoundland and LabradorFootnote b 5.0 to 9.9 33
YukonFootnote b 15.0 to 19.9 7
Northwest Territories 0 to 4.9 1
Nunavut Suppressed Suppressed

92% were accidental (unintentional)

The number of accidental deaths involving fentanyl or fentanyl analogues increased by 81% between 2016 and 2017


Overdoses: Hospitalizations

An average of 17 people were hospitalized due to opioid poisoning in Canada each day in 2017 – an increase from 16 per day in 2016

Overdoses: Emergency medical services dataFootnote d

Based on available data, 2/3 of suspected opioid-related overdoses occurred among men.

Suspected opioid-related overdoses were most common among individuals between the ages of 20 and 29.

You have the power to save a life

Know the signs of an opioid overdose

  • Blue lips or nails
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Can't be woken up
  • Choking, gurgling or snoring sounds
  • Slow, weak or no breathing
  • Drowsiness or difficulty staying awake

Suspect an overdose?

  • Call 911
  • Administer naloxone if you have it
  • Stay with the person until help arrives


Together we can #stopoverdoses
Learn more at


Footnote a

Includes deaths related to all illicit drugs including, but not limited to, opioids.

Return to footnote a referrer

Footnote b

Includes deaths with completed investigations only.

Return to footnote b referrer

Footnote c

Includes deaths related to all illicit drugs including, but not limited to, opioids, from July to December only. This number is expected to rise.

Return to footnote c referrer

Footnote d

Based on data from Alberta (Edmonton and Calgary), Manitoba (Winnipeg), New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador for suspected opioid-related overdoses requiring the administration of naloxone by Emergency Medical Services Providers.

Return to footnote d referrer

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