Canada’s opioid crisis crosses ‘entire spectrum of society,’ poll says

Canada's opioid crisis crosses 'entire spectrum of society,' poll says thumbnail

One in eight Canadian adults says a family member or close friend has become “dependent on or addicted” to opioids in the last five years, an Angus Reid poll released on Thursday says. 

The poll also suggests that even as public awareness of the devastating risk of addiction to opioid painkillers — including oxycodone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl — has risen, they are still regularly prescribed. One in five Canadian adults said they had personally been prescribed opioids in the last five years. 

The findings counter perceptions that the opioid crisis is “a problem that’s limited to marginalized people or poor people,” Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, told CBC News.  

“It is really something that cuts across the entire spectrum of society, across, you know, different spectrums of the economy, of class, of education,” Kurl said.

“This isn’t a problem that [only] other people over there, across the street, on the other side of town are dealing with.”

A graph showing the results of the Angus Reid poll question about whether respondents’ close friends or family members had been personally affected by opioids. (Angus Reid Institute)



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