Can a new law tackle the opioid crisis in Ontario’s construction industry?

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Guests: Nadine Yousif and Cristina Selva

As the pandemic emerged in Ontario, the opioid crisis hit another peak. While opioid related deaths increased by 60 per cent in 2020, nearly one in three employed people who died were construction workers. To address the disproportionate impact of the opioid crisis on the construction workforce, Ontario passed a law mandating that naloxone, the drug that temporarily reverses the effects of opioid overdose, be available at construction sites across the province.

The Star’s mental health reporter Nadine Yousif explains how bad opioid use is in the industry and whether the new law will be enough to tackle a crisis already at boiling point. Also in this episode, we speak to Cristina Selva, the executive director of the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades, who has lost several members to overdose.

This episode was produced by Saba Eitizaz, Alexis Green and Matthew Hearn.

Saba Etizaz is a co-host and producer on the Star’s podcast team. She is based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @sabaeitizaz
Amid a surge of fatal overdoses, Ontario's construction industry is taking steps to raise awareness of the stark impact on the sector.

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