Ontario is expanding access to addiction and harm reduction services across the province, as the latest data shows that opioid-related deaths continue to rise.
There were 1,053 opioid-related deaths in Ontario from January to October 2017, compared with 694 during the same time period in 2016 — this represents a 52 per cent increase. From January to December 2017, there were 7,658 emergency department visits related to opioid overdoses, compared with 4,453 during the same time period in 2016 — this represents a 72 per cent increase.
To help combat the crisis, more than 85 mental health and addiction providers across the province are enhancing treatment services and supports for opioid use disorder. Twelve of these providers are supporting targeted supports for youth. Over 20 providers are investing in withdrawal management services in Ontario. More than 30 communities will also benefit from new or expanded Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics. In addition, up to 40 providers are hiring new front-line health and social service workers to provide counselling, case management and other supports.
Since the new overdose prevention site program began in January, four sites have been approved, with the first site now open in London, Ontario. Supervised injection services, which offer referrals and access to primary care, social services and addiction and mental health treatment, also continue to be expanded. Both services provide easy-to-access lifesaving supports in a stigma-free environment as well as harm reduction supports.
Read more at:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
March 7, 2018