World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 19 Mar, 2021 03:45 am

Opioid-related deaths skyrocket in Canada as pandemic worsens already dire health care and social crisis

Opioid-related deaths skyrocket in Canada as pandemic worsens already dire health care and social crisis
Virtually every province recorded increases in opioid-related deaths in 2020, with the number of fatalities in British Columbia almost doubling to 1,716.

The opioid epidemic, it adds, is increasing in both large cities and small towns.The rise in deaths has come on the heels of an already devastating epidemic of opioid deaths.Researchers point out that the United States and Canada are alone among industrialized nations in suffering a pronounced epidemic of opioid use.While much has been made of the impact of social distancing and other pandemic-related measures on the opioid epidemic, less media coverage has been devoted to the ongoing social crisis that has only been exacerbated by COVID-19.

The official 3 percent annual “increase” of these transfers does not even keep pace with inflation, never mind the increased costs placed on health care by both a growing and ageing population, the demands of the opioid epidemic, and now, above all, the COVID-19 catastrophe.With the coronavirus pandemic and the ruling elite’s “profits before lives” strategy exacerbating the already terrible social and health care crisis across Canada, the number of Canadians dying of opioid overdoses has risen dramatically over the past year.

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