|OTTAWA, Mar. 30,2018-- Canada saw surging deaths of opioid-related overdose in 2017, with an estimated 4,000 people losing their lives, the Public Health Agency of Canada said Tuesday.
A total of 2,923 people died from opioid-related overdoses in the first nine months in 2017, a 45 percent increase over the same period of the previous year.
The agency also outlined that illegally-produced synthetic opioids like fentanyl accounted for 72 percent of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths in the first nine months in 2017, compared to 55 per cent in 2016. An estimated 92 percent of apparent opioid-related deaths in the first three quarters of 2017 were accidental.
Males accounted for a staggering 76 percent of all accidental apparent opioid-related deaths, with people between 30 and 39 the most at-risk, accounting for 28 percent of fatalities.
British Columbia province was the most hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, with 1,138 apparent opioid-related deaths logged in the first three quarters of 2017. It was followed by Ontario province with 942 deaths, and Alberta province with 546 deaths.
British Columbia also recorded the highest rate of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada in that same 2017 period, with 29.8 deaths per 100,000 people. It was followed by Alberta with 16.2 and Yukon territory with 13.9.