Meth-related ER visits on the rise in Ontario, following western Canada trend: study – CTV

March 15, 2023

Amphetamine-related visits to Ontario emergency departments have skyrocketed over the last two decades, a recent study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry says.

“It’s astonishing,” said lead author James Crispo, a postdoctoral research fellow in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of British Columbia who is based in Sudbury, Ont.

The researchers used health administrative data to review adult emergency department visits throughout Ontario between January 2003 and December 2020.

They found that the number of ER patients suffering from an amphetamine-related condition increased almost 15 times over that time period.

Because they eliminated prescription amphetamines, which are sometimes used to treat ADHD, researchers believe the majority of the emergency department visits were specifically due to methamphetamine, or meth — a stimulant street drug which has become increasingly prevalent in Canada.

The study showed an especially sharp increase between 2015 and 2020.

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