Characteristics of Substance-Related Toxicity Deaths in Ontario Stimulant, Opioid, Benzodiazepine, and Alcohol-Related Deaths
12 September 2023
12 Location of Incident Alcohol toxicity deaths SUMMARY Trends & characteristics 1 6 % Increase in the number of alcohol toxicities from 2018 to 2021 1 3 % of all substance- related deaths from 2018 to 2021 involved alcohol as a direct contributor to death 2 9 6 Alcohol toxicity deaths in 2021 Alcohol Toxicity Deaths in 2021 9 2 % of deaths had other substances directly contribute to death Demogra. [...] 22 Benzodiazepine toxicity deaths SUMMARY Trends & characteristics 4 5 % increase in the number of benzodiazepine toxicity deaths from 2018 to 2021 9 % of all substance-related deaths from 2018 to 2021 involved benzodiazepine as a direct contributor to death 2 3 9 benzodiazepine toxicity deaths in 2021 8 2 % were caused by non-pharmaceutical benzodiazepines Benzodiazepine Toxicity Deaths in 2021 I. [...] 28 Percentage of benzodiazepine-toxicity deaths Opioid toxicity deaths SUMMARY Trends & characteristics 2 x Increase in the number of opioid toxicity deaths from 2018 to 2021 8 5 % of all substance- related deaths from 2018 to 2021 involved opioids as a direct contributor to death 2 5 4 7 Opioid toxicity deaths in 2021 9 0 % were caused by non-pharmaceutical opioids Opioid Toxicity Deaths in 2021. [...] This equates to 8 deaths every day from substance-related toxicities in Ontario, with this magnitude of deaths far exceeding the number of deaths from motor vehicle collisions in the province in 2021 (N=565), one of the leading causes of accidental deaths.15 Most of the 8,767 deaths involved opioids (85.2%, N=7,467) or stimulants (60.2%, N=5,276). [...] In particular, opioids and stimulants in combination with each other made up the highest proportion of toxicity deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic (43.1%) and represented the largest absolute increase in deaths from the pre-pandemic to pandemic period (doubling of deaths from 993 to 2,196).