A new report shows that during the pandemic, there were more deaths from “unintentional side effects” than COVID-19, particularly among younger Canadians.
The latest data from Statistics Canada, released Monday, is titled “Provisional death counts and excess mortality, January 2020 to April 2021,” and found there were 5,535 deaths in those younger than 65 years of age.
The report from the Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database suggests that “the excess mortality is, in large part, related to other factors such as increases in the number deaths attributed to causes associated with substance use and misuse, including unintentional (accidental) poisonings and diseases and conditions related to alcohol consumption.”
The agency doesn’t have enough data to chalk up the increased unintentional/accidental poisonings — which can be anything from accidental overdoses of narcotics, opioids and hallucinogens or even over-the-counter medications, as well as alcohol and poisonings from solvents and pesticides.
StatCan does acknowledge that the disruption of “availability and access to harm reduction programs, supervised consumption services, and in-person support services for substance use” may have played a factor.