The COVID-19 pandemic emerged in the midst of the ongoing epidemic of opioid-related deaths in Canada. Public health restrictions introduced in Ontario to reduce the spread of COVID-19 resulted in reduced service levels for health and social services that provide care to people who use drugs. Despite the intention to reduce the impact of COVID-19, there was also concern that these measures would lead to unintended harms.
The ODPRN, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario/Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OCC/OFPS) and Public Health Ontario (PHO) have developed a new report describing patterns surrounding opioid-related deaths that occurred in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic up to the end of December 2020. This report updates the data provided in a preliminary report released in November 2020 describing patterns that occurred during the first three months of the pandemic.
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