Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Evaluation of Psychoactive Substances that Bring Youth to the Emergency Department

Examines the trends in substance-related visits to the emergency department (ED) among youth and young adults (12 to 24 years old) and the context of their visits. The report focuses on alcohol-, cannabis- and opioid-related visits in Sherbrooke, Saskatoon and the Greater Halifax region from 2016 to 2019. The findings illustrate the substantial contribution of alcohol to ED visits by young people, that polysubstance use is common in this population and that many of these ED cases are potentially life threatening and involve those younger than the legal drinking age. The report also discusses the importance of ensuring youth have social, mental health and substance use supports following such ED visits.

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