Preliminary Patterns in Circumstances Surrounding Opioid-Related Deaths in Ontario during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario led the province to declare a state of emergency on March 17, 2020. Physical distancing measures intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., reduced hours of operation for pharmacies, outpatient clinics, and harm reduction sites providing care to people who use drugs) may have led to unintended harms in terms of opioid-related deaths. In light of this, the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN), the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario/the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OCC/OFPS), Public Health Ontario (PHO), and the CDPE have published a report analyzing trends in opioid-related deaths and comparing circumstances of death between two groups: a pandemic cohort and a pre-pandemic cohort.

View the report and infographic.