Apparent opioid-related deaths
Canada continues to experience a serious opioid crisis. Across the country, it is having devastating effects on families and communities.
The Government of Canada works closely with the provinces and territories to collect and share data on apparent opioid-related deaths. The data are 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 March 2018:
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 more than 8,000 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada between January 2016 and March 2018. There were 3,005 apparent opioid-related deaths in 2016 and 3,996 in 2017. Between January and March 2018, there were at least 1,036 apparent opioid-related deaths of which 94% were accidental (unintentional).
Sex and age trends
Similar to trends observed in 2016 and 2017, most accidental apparent opioid-related deaths between January and March 2018 occurred among males (77%); however, this varied by province or territory.
Although age group distribution varied by province or territory, the highest percentage (27%) of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths occurred among individuals between the ages of 30 and 39 years.
Between January and March 2018, 73% of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues, compared to 54% in 2016 and 72% in 2017.
Approximately 76% of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths between January 2016 and March 2018 involved one or more types of non-opioid substances.
Provincial and territorial information
- British Columbia
- Quebec (available in French only)
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
Some of the following hyperlinks are to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Official Languages Act. The material found there is therefore in the language(s) of the sites in question.
For more information
- National report: Apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada (September 2018)
- Opioid-related harms in Canada (Infographic June 2018)
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Data on Suspected Opioid-related Overdose Responses in Canada (September 2018)
- National study on opioid and illegal substance-related overdose deaths: insights from coroners and medical examiners
- Get the facts on the opioid crisis in Canada
- Opioids data, surveillance and research
- Responding to Canada's opioid crisis
- Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy
- National report: Apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada (June 2018)
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