CAHSS Faculty Presentations, Proceedings, Lectures, and Symposia


The Opioid Epidemic in Canada: Trends in Diversion of Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs in Ontario

Event Location / Date(s)

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Document Type



Department of Justice and Human Services

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

Issues of Substance Conference 2017


The Drug Diversion Program surveys law enforcement agencies in Ontario who report on new cases of prescription drug diversion quarterly. Data were collected between October 2014 and September 2016. Cumulative and standard unit rates were calculated for buprenorphine (n = 23), codeine (n= 65), fentanyl (n=181), hydromorphone (n=318), oxycodone (n=262), and morphine (n=69). Cumulative population and standard unit rates were calculated by dividing total quarterly diversion cases for each drug substance by total covered quarterly populations and standard units sold, respectively. Quarterly population estimates were obtained by extrapolating from the 2006 and 2011 Canadian censuses at census division level, intermediate geographic areas between the levels of province, and municipality. Cumulative standard unit rates were calculated using the estimated total standard units sold in the covered area for each drug.

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