Addictions and an Opiate Crisis
Addictions and the use of opiates transcends economic and social classes.

 It is well known in the recovery community that the opposite of addiction is connection.

An opioid is a type of drug found in prescription pain medicine. It is also found in ‘street drugs’ such as heroin. Prescription opioids can help with pain when used under a doctor’s order. They may be addictive and can cause side effects and even death when used incorrectly.

How are we doing?

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada (2019, 2020) and Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (May 2022)

Substance overdoses amid the pandemic hit a four-year high. In 2021, 407 drug-related deaths were reported in Manitoba, more than double reported in 2018 and 2019. Of the deaths reported in 2021, the use of at least one opioid, including fentanyl, contributed to 277 of these deaths up from 254 in 2020. These deaths are indicative of the prevalence of serious addictions and the safety of the drug supply. There is a significant lag in opiate death reporting, delaying much needed data to provide services to those in need. Compounding the issue are wait times for addictions treatment; 44 days for men; 119 days for women in 2022.

In Manitoba, there are 36 provincially funded beds for men and 25 provincially funded beds available for women seeking addictions treatment.

People with addictions, much like people with mental health challenges, respond well to supportive programming. While there is good news with the recent opening of a new recovery centre for men, there is a significant gap in service for women. When a person with an addiction is ready to consider treatment, the faster they can get into a program, the more likely it is to be successful.