Science table calls for collaboration to tackle opioids

Opioids

Ontario's science table says a wide variety of strategies must be implemented to help tackle the opioid crisis, which has worsened significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its latest brief published Wednesday, the group of experts says these strategies are needed to deal with the significant increase in fatal overdoses since the novel coronavirus appeared in Ontario in 2020.

It says marginalized and racialized people have been disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis.

The science table says the province, service providers, researchers and those with lived experience should be collaborating on the issue.

It also says the increasingly volatile drug supply should be addressed and harm reduction services should be incorporated in high-risk settings such as homeless shelters.

The science table says 6,819 people died from opioid overdoses in Ontario between 2016 and 2020.