Ontario’s science table is calling on the government to use a variety of strategies to tackle the ongoing opioid crisis, which has only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its latest brief, the experts say new strategies are needed to deal with a significant uptick in fatal overdoses since the start of the pandemic and lockdowns.
It also says racialized and marginalized people have been disproportionately affected.
The group of experts say the government, service providers, researchers and people with lived experiences should be collaborating on the issue.
The table is calling on the government to tackle the increasingly volatile drug supply and incorporate harm reduction services in high-risk settlings, like shelters.
Between 2016 and 2020, data shows 6,819 people died from opioid overdoses in Ontario.