More Canadians are dying of drug overdoses — and coronavirus is to blame

Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press

Date Published: May 28, 2020

Source: Global News

New data from across the country shows that opioid overdoses have increased since social distancing measures began in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many support programs have been more difficult to access by people suffering from opioid addiction. The full impact of social distancing policies on overdose rates is currently unknown, but early numbers from BC Coroners Service show that there were 113 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in March 2020. This is a 61% increase over the number of deaths in February, and the first time the province has seen more than 100 deaths in a month since March of last year. Similarly, the City of Toronto has also seen a sharp increase in drug overdose deaths since social distancing policies began. Moreover, in Alberta the numbers have not yet been compiled but the hospital has seen a notable increase in the number of patients presenting with an opioid overdose. 

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Summary by: Manjot Sunner