Over the past three years, Saskatchewan has experienced an alarming rise in mortality due to drug overdoses. In that time, 1,200 people have perished from overdoses, leaving their families and communities in grief.
The deceased were largely younger individuals, with the average age being 39. This reflects the wider trend of drug overdoses being most prevalent in those between the ages of 25 and 44. It is estimated that in 2019, the mortality rate due to opioid overdoses was pushed up to 16.9 per 100,000 people, nearly double the Canadian average of 8.6 per 100,000.
The opioid crisis plaguing Saskatchewan is a multifaceted issue with a variety of underlying causes. The Saskatoon Health Region has identified a number of risk factors such as prior mental health issues, social isolation, a history of substance misuse, poverty, and homelessness. Additionally, a lack of public awareness of the dangers of opioids and a lack of access to opioid agonist therapy have been identified as major contributing factors.
In response to the crisis, the Saskatchewan government has implemented programs aimed at providing support for those suffering from opioid addiction and increasing public understand of the issue. To date, there have been over 10,000 opioid prescriptions filled through the government’s Opioid Agonist Therapy program. Additionally, the government has launched public awareness campaigns to educate the public on the dangers of opioids, and provide resources to those struggling with addiction.
Despite these efforts, the opioid crisis in Saskatchewan persists. The death toll continues to rise as the government struggles to find solutions to this devastating issue. It is hoped that with increased public awareness and access to treatment, the crisis will be brought to an end.
In the past three years, Saskatchewan has grappled with a scourge of drug overdoses that has claimed the lives of 1,200 people and left countless more in mourning. Most of those who succumbed to overdoses fell between the ages of 25 and 44, with the average age of the deceased being 39. The mortality rate attributable to opioid overdose in 2019 stands at 16.9 per 100,000 people, substantially higher than the national average of 8.6 per 100,000.
Analysis of the opioid crisis in Saskatchewan has identified a variety of risk factors, including mental health problems, social isolation, substance misuse, and economic hardship. Furthermore, a lack of public awareness of the dangers of opioids and the unavailability of opioid agonist therapy are believed to have contributed to the severity of the crisis.
In response to the opioid crisis, the Saskatchewan government has introduced several initiatives to provide treatment options to those suffering from addiction and to raise public awareness of the dangers of opioids. The Opioid Agonist Therapy program has seen over 10,000 opioid prescriptions filled, and public education campaigns have been launched to provide support and resources for individuals battling opioid addiction.
Despite the implementation of these measures, the opioid crisis in Saskatchewan persists, with the death toll continuing to rise. It is hoped that with increased access to treatment and greater public awareness, this harrowing tragedy can come to an end.