June 14, 2024
It is imperative that we discover why Ontario’s kids are suddenly getting hooked on prescription opioids. Thankfully, addiction experts have already found one likely culprit: Canada’s experimental “safer supply” programs.

Experts blame ‘safer supply’ for skyrocketing opioid abuse among students

A recent report by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health suggests that prescription opioid abuse has exploded among Ontario’s youth since 2021. Circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that narcotics diverted from government-funded “safer supply” programs are contributing to this trend.

The report (Drug Use Among Ontario Students) analyzes data gathered through a survey that CAMH distributes to over 200 schools every two years. According to last year’s data, which was just recently made available, a whopping 21.8% of students in grades 7 to 12 reported using prescription opioids for “non-medical purposes.”

That number was only 12.7% in 2021 — which suggests that the number of students abusing prescription opioids jumped by 71% in just two years. Student prescription opioid abuse is now at the highest levels seen since 2007, the earliest year that data for this class of drugs is available in this survey.

Harm reduction activists regularly downplay the dangers of pharmaceutical opioids and often cite toxicology data showing that most drug deaths are caused by illicit substances, such as street fentanyl. Yet doctors have repeatedly emphasized that most youth begin their addictions with pharmaceuticals and, once hooked, graduate onto harder drugs that kill them.

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