Contributions of Stimulants and Varying Modes of Drug Use to Opioid Toxicity Deaths Across Public Health Units in Ontario, Canada

Factors that have contributed to the increasing rates of opioid-related toxicity deaths in recent years include changes in the drug supply and pandemic-related changes in the availability and accessibility of services supporting those who use drugs. These factors are reflected in the changing circumstances around opioid toxicity deaths, including what and how drugs are being used.

Polysubstance use and changing modes of drug use are important to understand as they can contribute to differing risks of harms among people who use drugs. This report examines the involvement of stimulants overall, and specifically non-pharmaceutical stimulants (i.e., cocaine and methamphetamines), as well as modes of drug use (e.g. inhalation/smoking vs. injection) in accidental opioid toxicity deaths occurring in Ontario between January 2018 and June 2021.

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