The crisis of the drugs has slowed the growth of the life expectancy in Canada

La crise des stupéfiants a freiné la croissance de l’espérance de vie au Canada

Photo: Patrick Sison Archives Associated Press
The increase in the number of fatal overdoses related to narcotic drugs, including opioids, has an impact on life expectancy.

The crisis of opioids, which caused more than 2,000 deaths between January and June 2018 in Canada, do not weaken. The increase in the number of fatal overdoses related to the consumption of narcotic drugs has been of such intensity since the early 2000s that it has slowed the growth of life expectancy in the country.

Between 2000 and 2016, the average life expectancy at birth of a Canadian has increased by almost 3 years (2,99 years), from 79,27 to 82,25 years, according to the latest data released Wednesday by the public health Agency of Canada (PHAC). However, without the crisis of the drugs — which include especially the opioids, a Canadian would have been in 2016 expect to live up to 82,41 years, 58 days longer.

The crisis of opioids, which is rife particularly in British Columbia, has been singled out by the federal agency to explain these figures.

“The data released [Wednesday] are a cause for concern. […] This crisis that lasts requires on the part of all partners a commitment to intervene in a flexible and collaborative, ” said the director-in-chief of the public health agency of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam, at the time of the unveiling of the data.


The AGENCY has also revealed the balance sheet of the crisis of opioid in the last two years. Over 9,000 Canadians lost their lives due to an overdose related, presumably, to opioids, in between January 2016 and June 2018. During the first half of 2018, more than 2000 people died of a drug overdose across the country. In 72% of cases, fentanyl was involved.

This drug, which is considered much more powerful than heroin, is often mixed with opioids sold on the street. Users may be unaware of what they consume and put themselves unwittingly in danger, the deaths are mainly accidental.

This is without counting the growing number of hospitalizations due to poisoning by opioids, an increase of 27 % over the past five years.

“A death in this crisis is already one death too many. The data released [Wednesday] we will help to continue the development of strategies to reduce deaths and inform policy and public health interventions for all of us “, stated by press release the federal minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

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