As in the United States, drug overdose is the leading cause of unnatural death in Canada, with most overdoses involving opioids. The authors of this brief quantify the lost labor productivity from opioid overdoses in Canada. They show that from 2016 to 2019, over two-thirds of opioid overdose victims were working and contributing to the economy before they died, with those employed in construction, trades, and transportation having the highest opioid overdose rates. The authors argue that destigmatizing drug use, ensuring a safe supply, and improving access to medical care and take-home Naloxone kits are critical for reducing overdose deaths.
Opioid Crisis, Economic Policy, Employment
Economic Policy | Mental and Social Health | Sociology | Substance Abuse and Addiction
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Funding for this study came from the University of Alberta’s Killam Roger S. Smith Undergraduate Researcher Award. We thank Emily Minnoe and Shannon Monnat for helpful comments on an earlier version of this brief. This brief is part of a series of briefs summarizing findings from a special issue of the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science on the social and community
University of Alberta’s Killam Roger S. Smith Undergraduate Researcher Award
Marchand, J., Cheung, A., & Mark, P. (2023). Over Two-Thirds of Opioid Overdose Victims in Canada were Employed Before They Died. Lerner Center Population Health Research Brief Series. 222. https://surface.syr.edu/lerner/222
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