By Jackie Dunham | CTV News
More than 10,000 Canadians have died from opioid-related overdoses in two-and-a-half years, according to new data released by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The new statistics, published on Wednesday, showed there were more than 10,300 deaths as a result of an apparent opioid-related overdose from January 2016 to September 2018.
During the first nine months of 2018 alone, PHAC said 3,286 Canadians died from apparent opioid-related overdoses. Of those deaths, the data shows that 93 per cent of them were accidental.
The deadly drug fentanyl was cited as a main contributor to the crisis, with fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances blamed for 73 per cent of the deaths from January to September 2018.
“The data show that fentanyl and other fentanyl-related substances continue to be a major driver of this crisis,” PHAC said in a statement.
The public health agency said the crisis is impacting the entire country, with British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta seeing the highest rates of deaths.