Apparent opioid-related deaths

Canada is experiencing a serious and growing opioid crisis. Across the country, it is having devastating effects on families and communities.

The Government of Canada is working closely with the provinces and territories to collect and share data on apparent opioid-related deaths. The data will be updated four times a year and may change based on review and refinement.


According to updated and available preliminary data on apparent opioid-related deaths from January 2016 to September 2017:

National and regional trends

The opioid epidemic has affected every part of the country; however, certain regions have been impacted more than others. There were 2,946 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2016 and at least 2,923 from January to September 2017 of which 92% were accidental (unintentional).

Sex and age trends

Most (76%) accidental apparent opioid-related deaths occurred among males; however, this varied by province or territory.

Although age group distribution varied by province or territory, the highest percentage (28%) of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths occurred among individuals between the ages of 30 and 39 years.

Substances involved

From January to September 2017, 72% of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues, compared to 55% in 2016.

Between January 2016 and September 2017, approximately 80% of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths also involved one or more types of non-opioid substances.

Provincial and territorial information

For more information

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