Statement from the Co-Chairs of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses


June 6, 2017 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

OTTAWA - Every day, there are Canadians and families impacted by the devastating outcomes associated with problematic opioid use. To address the crisis and stop the deaths, data is a necessary foundation.

Today, on behalf of the federal, provincial, territorial Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses, we are releasing national data on apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2016.

Together, we have estimated that at least 2,458 Canadians died from an opioid-related overdose in 2016. This equates to almost seven people a day dying from opioid use. Western Canada is being hit the hardest.

The data is subject to ongoing refinement. Through the development of a common reporting tool, we will release opioid-related death data on a quarterly basis going forward.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments established this Special Advisory Committee in December 2016 to focus on urgent issues related to overdoses and deaths linked to the use of opioids and to promote information sharing between jurisdictions related to the opioid crisis in Canada.

The Special Advisory Committee remains committed to improving opioid data and surveillance to better inform overdose prevention, treatment and harm reduction approaches throughout the country.

Dr. Theresa Tam
Interim Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Dr. Robert Strang
Chief Public Health Officer for Nova Scotia

More information
National Report: Apparent Opioid-Related Deaths (2016)

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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