I was taken aback by the Surgeon General’s recent announcement about our country’s addiction problem. While much of what he shared is not necessarily new information, it’s quite astonishing that, according to recent data, more people suffer from substance abuse than cancer.
As a parent and substance abuse educator, I am ever-vigilant about substance abuse awareness. Though it continues to be a difficult problem to address, it seems the best action we can take is to continue to educate ourselves and our children in the hopes they will understand the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Through the Prevention Coalition, we strive to provide as many resources as possible to help teach every citizen about the effects of substance abuse. I’m impressed with your website, and I can tell we are of the same mind when it comes to prevention. Can I count on you to help me share these invaluable resources?
Perhaps here: http://addictionsameness.
I truly feel that the more resources families have, the better equipped they will be in prevention efforts.
Thank you for your consideration, and if you prefer not to receive this type of communication, please let me know. Of course, if you’d like more information (perhaps through a research-based article I write for you that can be posted on your site?), let me know that, as well.
The Province of British Columbia, where I reside, recorded 914 overdose deaths in 2016 during a fentanyl crisis.
914 overdose deaths in British Columbia in 2016
Fentanyl-fueled overdose crisis in British Columbia escalates with another 142 deaths in December, for a total number of 914 deaths in 2016.
Canada should declare overdose deaths a national health emergency, said British Columbia Health Minister Terry Lake.
Lake made the comment while reeling from the release of the province’s year-end illicit drug overdose statistics by chief coroner Lisa Lapointe on Wednesday.
A record-high 142 people died of overdoses in December, bringing the province’s 2016 total to a staggering and tragic 914 deaths.
Lake says the province has taken unprecedented measures to try to address the crisis, including the opening of 20 overdose prevention sites in December, but the prevalence of fentanyl and now the even more dangerous carfentanil in street drugs has continued to push the death rate up.
The crisis unfolding in B.C. and elsewhere in Canada should also spark debate about how drugs are regulated in the country, Kendall said.
In the meantime, Lapointe is urging people dependent on drugs to access supervised services and not use alone.
All recreational or experimental drugs users are being told avoid using drugs altogether.
Lake said almost 100 overdoses were reversed at provincially-sanctioned overdose prevention sites since they started opening last month.
Had it not been for those sites, and other initiatives in response to the crisis, “many, many more lives would have been lost,” Lake said.
Drug overdose among the top 10 causes of death in B.C.
The most common causes of death in B.C. are serious diseases and medical issues: cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and others. Accidents, of all kinds, are common too.
Drug overdose first entered the top 10 in 2015, when there were 510 deaths. Assuming that the numbers of people dying from other causes have remained somewhat steady, drug overdose has moved up the list in the last year, falling just behind influenza – a virus for which the provincial government provides high-risk individuals with free vaccines.
Numbers provided by the province’s Vital Statistics Agency on accidental deaths also include drug overdoses and couldn’t be separated from non-overdose accidental deaths. This means that the number of non-drug-related accidents is likely much lower.