Opioid- and Stimulant-related Harms in Canada Published:
(December 2023)
: Health Infobase

Select an item from each list below:
Crude rate (per 100,000 population) of total apparent opioid toxicity deaths in Ontario, 2016 to 2023 (Jan to Jun)
024681012141618202224262820162017201820192020202120222023 (Jan to Jun)YearCrude rate (per 100,000 population)2016: 6.22017: 9.02018: 10.52019: 10.72020: 16.72021: 19.32022: 16.82023 (Jan to Jun): 17.5

This update is based on data submitted to or extracted by the Public Health Agency of Canada on or before . Due to differences in identifying and reporting cases, comparisons over time and between provinces and territories should be interpreted with caution. Refer to the Technical Notes for more information.

Notes
  • Data on hospitalizations from Quebec are not included in the dataset used for analysis. As a result, Quebec is excluded. Refer to the Technical Notes for more information.
  • Only applies to deaths with completed investigations.
  • Suppressed (Suppr.) – Data may be suppressed in provinces or territories with low numbers of cases in order to comply with confidentiality rules. Refer to Technical notes for more information.
  • Suppressed (Suppr.) – Data may be suppressed in provinces or territories with low numbers of cases in order to comply with confidentiality rules. Refer to Technical notes for more information.
  • Not available (n/a) – Data were not available at the time of this publication.
  • Manitoba data from April 2022 to June 2023 were not available at the time of this update.
  • Yukon data from April to June 2023 were not available at the time of this update.
  • Apparent opioid toxicity death (AOTD): A death caused by intoxication/toxicity (poisoning) resulting from substance use, where one or more of the substances is an opioid, regardless of how it was obtained (e.g., illegally or through personal prescription). Other substances may also be involved. Data on apparent opioid toxicity deaths and stimulant toxicity deaths are not mutually exclusive. A high proportion of deaths involving a stimulant also involved an opioid. Adding up those numbers would result in an overestimation of the burden of opioids and stimulants.
  • Apparent stimulant toxicity death (ASTD): A death caused by intoxication/toxicity (poisoning) resulting from substance use, where one or more of the substances is a stimulant, regardless of how it was obtained (e.g. illegally or through personal prescription). Other substances may also be involved. Data on apparent opioid toxicity deaths and stimulant toxicity deaths are not mutually exclusive. A high proportion of deaths involving a stimulant also involved an opioid. Adding up those numbers would result in an overestimation of the burden of opioids and stimulants.
  • Until investigations are completed, some provinces and territories report fentanyl information only or report data on fentanyl and fentanyl analogues together. Therefore, some deaths involving fentanyl analogues may be included in the fentanyl percentages.
  • Data on opioid-related and stimulant-related poisoning hospitalizations are not mutually exclusive. A proportion of poisoning hospitalizations involving a stimulant also involved an opioid. Adding up those numbers would result in an overestimation of the burden of opioids and stimulants. Stimulant-related poisoning hospitalizations involving cocaine and other psychostimulants may exceed 100% as poisonings may co-occur.
  • Until investigations are completed, some provinces and territories report fentanyl specific information only or report data on fentanyl and fentanyl analogues together. Therefore, some deaths involving fentanyl analogues may be included in the fentanyl percentages.
  • Data from April to June 2023 were not available for Northern and Rural Manitoba.
  • Totals for sex by age group may not match those from other tables as they do not include cases with missing sex, other sex or missing age.
  • Totals used to calculate age-adjusted rates do not include cases with missing age.
  • The ICD-10-CA code for poisoning by fentanyl and derivatives was introduced April 2018. Fentanyl-specific data were not available prior to this date.
Text description - Data table
Crude rate (per 100,000 population) of total apparent opioid toxicity deaths in Ontario, 2016 to 2023 (Jan to Jun)
YearCrude rate
20166.2
20179.0
201810.5
201910.7
202016.7
202119.3
202216.8
2023 (Jan to Jun)17.5

Acknowledgments

We recognize that the data in this report may represent stories of pain, grief, and trauma. This report cannot adequately reflect the burden borne by Canadians. We acknowledge all those impacted by substance use, and those who work to save lives and reduce substance-related harms on individuals and communities.

This update would not be possible without the collaboration and dedication of provincial and territorial (PT) offices of Chief Coroners and Chief Medical Examiners as well as PT public health and health partners and Emergency Medical Services data providers. We would also like to acknowledge the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for collecting and providing the data used for reporting opioid- and stimulant-related poisoning hospitalizations.

Suggested Citation

Federal, provincial, and territorial Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses. Opioid- and Stimulant-related Harms in Canada. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada; December 2023. https://health-infobase.canada.ca/substance-related-harms/opioids-stimulants/


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