Ontario’s opioid-related deaths remain above pre-pandemic levels

From Global News

Opioid deaths among those aged 15 to 24 surged during the first year of the pandemic, according to research led by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network at Unity Health Toronto. That figure came partly through contaminated drugs used recreationally, according to Dr. Tara Gomes, a scientist at Unity Health Toronto who leads the research group.

“We might be seeing increasing harms because teens and young adults are more likely to be using drugs occasionally,” she explained.

“Our drug supply is incredibly unpredictable and potent, and so if you’re only using drugs once in a while, then when you use them, if you are exposed to a very high dose or a drug that has multiple different substances in it, then you can be at really high risk of an overdose.”

At the beginning of July, police said five people had taken an unknown drug that was likely an opioid near Toronto’s waterfront; one died. In April, police said four people suffered overdoses in the downtown after taking a drug believed to contain fentanyl. Many other similar warnings have been issued across the province.

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