Nearly a third of Canadians have consumed opioids

Photo: Patrick Sison Associated Press
If opioids are prescribed medications for pain relief, their use becomes a “problem” with risk of dependence, overdose and even death.

Nearly one Canadian in three (29 %) consumed “any form” of opioid drugs during the past five years, according to a survey published Tuesday, in the framework of the fight against the fatal overdoses to fentanyl, a powerful sedative.


The victims of overdoses on opioids, mainly fentanyl or carfentanyl, even more powerful, have surged for two years in the country, particularly in British Columbia, where deaths are most numerous.


Close to 3000 deaths due to overdose in the opioids in 2016, and the trend for the first six months of last year was expected in December to the ministry of Health of a larger number of deaths for the year as a whole.


“A little more than three-quarters (77 %) of Canadians 18 years of age and over “are aware” of the problem of opioid “, according to the Statistics Canada survey conducted over the last two months with the major people.


If opioids (fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, codeine…) are prescribed medications for pain relief, their use becomes a “problem” with it, underline the authors of the survey, the risk of dependence, overdose and even death.


If 29 % of Canadians used at least one product containing this substance during the last five years, much ensure keep the non-opioid used ” for their personal use later “.


Nearly eight out of 10 respondents are ” “very aware” that a problematic opioids can cause overdose or death, ” according to the survey.


Public health authorities are stepping up their efforts to stem such fatal overdoses as the distribution of naloxone, an antidote against the effects of an excessive intake of fentanyl.


The ministry of Health is planning to classify tramadol as an opioid following a sharp rise in issuing orders of this analgesic.


In December, a report had revealed a 30% increase in prescriptions for tramadol in Canada between 2012 and 2016.