You are invited to join Dr. Michael Krausz and other researchers, clinicians, policy makers, people with lived/living experience, and youth from all over the world for a full-day virtual conference on the overdose crisis and how to stop it. The virtual Let’s Talk Overdose Conference will take place on Wednesday June 23, 2021, so be sure to register for your free virtual ticket today!
In March 2020, Canada declared COVID-19 a public health emergency. Since then, Canadians have fervently been doing their part to reduce the spread of the virus. Amid the chaos of COVID-19, the opioid overdose crisis is still ongoing, yet efforts to address this devastating situation are often overshadowed.
In 2016, Canada declared opioid-related overdoses and deaths a national public health emergency. Since then, there have been more than 17,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada and now, individuals who use drugs are at the intersection of two public health emergencies. Overdose-related deaths have skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with 1,735 deaths since March 2020. In 2020 the BC Emergency Services responded to 27,067 calls due to an overdose leading to 1,724 deaths, an average of five lives lost to overdose each day. Further, over 300 youth die tragically each year in British Columbia alone, due to this preventable cause. As we head into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sixth year of the opioid overdose pandemic, we are already on our way to setting new records for overdose deaths in 2021.
The opioid overdose crisis requires urgent attention. We cannot wait any longer, immediate action is needed. We want to raise awareness to the overdose crisis and to generate a consensus on the necessary initiatives to ensure that no more lives are needlessly lost to this hidden pandemic; we implore you to support us in this effort. — Dr. Michael Krausz