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Over the past 4 years, substance toxicity deaths have nearly doubled in Ontario. Polysubstance use complicates substance toxicity responses, resulting in higher fatality rates compared to when substances are used alone. Ontario has seen polysubstance involvement, mainly stimulants, in opioid-related deaths. In Ontario, detailed data on fatal substance-related toxicities have largely been restricted to opioid toxicity deaths, with limited data available on the relative frequency of toxicity deaths attributable to alcohol, benzodiazepines, and stimulants, and the frequency of polysubstance use among these deaths. This joint report by the ODPRN and Public Health Ontario provides an overview on the trends and patterns of single and polysubstance (more than one substance) deaths from alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, and stimulants in Ontario (January 2018 to December 2021).
Infographics and media releases are available on the same page.