Opioids are cutting into the life expectancy of B.C. men between the ages of 25 and 45.
Those are the findings of a new report from Statistics Canada.
“The increase in mortality among males aged 25 to 45 is likely related to the opioid crisis affecting certain regions of the country,” the report says.
“In the United States, life expectancy at birth has decreased over the last three years, and many studies show that this decrease is linked to the opioid crisis.”
For the third year in a row, male life expectancy at birth in Canada did not increase, which experts say “is likely related to the opioid crisis that is particularly affecting B.C. and Ontario.”
The report hits home for Powell River resident, Darlana Treloar, whose son, Sean, died from a fentanyl overdose three years ago.
She said awareness is the first step towards saving lives.
“We just have to continue talking about it,” Treloar said.
“We need to start the conversation before it starts, because the toxic drugs out there, they’re not going to go away anytime soon.”
Treloar said in the early stages of her son’s addiction, she didn’t understand what he was going through.
“So it was hard for him to come to me and talk to me about it,” Treloar said.
“And I found myself quite angry all the time because I didn’t like his addiction. So I’ve learned a lot since the beginning of all this. So we need to learn to talk to them properly so they’ll listen, and not be scared to talk to us.”
The 0.2 year decrease in life expectancy at birth for B.C. males was the largest among all provinces.