Accidental Opioid overdose deaths must be taken seriously. The rate in Canada is at an utterly unacceptable level, but it took Andre Picard, in the Globe & Mail (14 April 2014), to call it what it is: "an overdose pandemic".
"The people using and abusing opioids (and dying as a result) are not all stereotypical ‘junkies' shooting up in alleys. They are also grandmothers who take too many painkillers, labourers who get addicted after treatment for a back injury, teenagers who raid their parents' medicine cabinet, kids who mistake pills for candy and recreational users who can be anyone from Bay Street brokers to squeegee kids."
Opioids, the class of drug that is potentially the most lethal, include illicit drugs such as heroin and a full range of common prescription painkiller drugs including OxyContin, Codeine, Percocet, Fentanyl and Oxycodone.
Here is a report prepared by the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition which describes the problem in detail and presents some solutions.
Give it a careful read and work to address accidental drug overdose in your community ... and nationallly.