One in eight Canadians – the equivalent of 3.5 million of us – know someone who has faced opioid addiction, according to a new Angus Reid poll.
The public opinion research group carried out the online survey between November 14 and November 20, asking 1,510 for their thoughts on opioid addiction.
As thousands of Canadians continue to die from opioid overdoses, researchers found the epidemic of addiction is hitting home for many here.
Some 12% of Canadians polled said they had close friends or family who had become dependent on opioids in the last five years.
And for about a quarter of respondents, researchers found, that takes the issue of opioid dependency in Canada to “crisis” levels.
Some 42% of respondents, while not going so far as to call it a crisis, did consider opioid addiction “a serious problem” for Canada today.
Hearteningly, most of those polled supported possible solutions to the issue, including supervised injection sites (67%) and mandatory treatment for those who overdose (85%).
But only 23% of those polled thought think Trudeau’s government had “responded appropriately” to the opioid crisis.
Some 38% thought the federal government had put “too few” resources into responding to the crisis, 8% thought they were spending too much on it, and 32% didn’t know.
Sadly, most of the Canadians surveyed – 71% – said they thought a public health issue of this scale would be getting more attention if its victims weren’t primarily drug users.
And 77% of those polled said the opioid problem is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
We can only hope they’re wrong.