Opioid overdose tool is harm-reduction at its best
Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney-General, said it best when he called the soaring rates of opioid-related deaths an “urgent and growing public-health crisis.”
High-profile deaths such as that of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman attract all the attention, but the reality is that more than 100 Americans a day die of accidental drug overdoses. That’s more people than are murdered or than die in car crashes – and many of the 38,000 ODs a year are preventable. At least 16,000 of those deaths are related to misuse of opioids, everything from heroin to OxyContin.
Though data collection in Canada is poor, it’s widely known we have rates of opioid use comparable with the United States. By extrapolation we can assume that approximately 3,800 overdose deaths occur here, with about 1,600 due to opioids.