The month of November draws attention to men’s health issues, through various Movember campaigns. This year, Island Health wants to spread more awareness of the effects of the toxic drug crisis on men.
Since the public health emergency on the issue was declared in 2016, 1,634 people have died because of toxic drugs in the Island Health region. Of those, 1,286 were men, with the majority being between the ages of 30 and 59.
Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Reka Gustafson says people who use alone are at the greatest risk.
“We’ve lost too many lives, and people who use alone are among those at greatest risk of death from toxic drug poisoning,” says Gustafson. “We want men to know that there are mental health and addictions supports and treatments to help keep them safer.”
Those supports include several male-specific online communities that connect men dealing with similar stresses and anxieties, and several overdose prevention services like the National Overdose Response Service Line at 1-888-688-6677.
More information on any of these supports can be found on the Island Health website.