Life Expectancy In B.C., Pushed Down By Opioid Overdose Deaths – Cannabis Is Also Contributing To The Problem


Fatal overdoses are increasing in number in British Columbia, and this has a horrible result: life expectancy is falling here for the first time in decades, and it threatens to do the very same thing across the country, according to Canada’s chief public health officer.

Theresa Tam brought up data that is showing that life expectancy dropped by more than a month in B.C. and this is currently the most affected province by the opioid crisis.

National data is not available yet to show us how life expectancy has been affected in other provinces, but Tam said that similar trends are expected across the country.

More than 8,000 Canadians have passed away as a result of opioid-related overdoses since the beginning of 2016. People had ages between 20 and 59 years old.

“You may not see as big an impact [as in B.C.], but you will see an impact,” Dr. Tam said in an interview.

Health officials also said that diminished life expectancy in developing countries is often the result of premature deaths in early childhood from infectious diseases and other illnesses.

Fentanyl and prescription opioids to blame

The rising availability of fentanyl is the cause of lots of deaths, but the excessive availability of prescription opioids has the same effect.

There have already been introduced some measures to tackle Canda’s opioid issue such as new national prescribing guidelines, increased funding for treatment programs and a promise by Health Canada to introduce new rules to ban the marketing of opioids.

On the other hand, experts say much more needs to be done to turn the tide.

Cannabis, also a troubling problem

When it comes to cannabis, the situation is not great at all. About 20%of young people in Grades 7 to 12 say they had used marijuana at some point in the previous year.

This is concerning because studies proved that using cannabis early and frequently can increase the risk of a substance use disorder as well as psychosis, according to the latest reports.


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