With 80% of the near one thousand OD victims in British Colombia in 2016 alone registered as male in the current opioid crisis affecting North America, The Guardian has questioned whether this is a crisis of masculinity.
A further issue compounding the male opioid crisis is suicide remaining the second biggest killer of men between the ages of 15 and 34 in the US.
Clinical psychologist Dan Blisker believes the public and political response would be different if those dying were 80% women.
Blisker said: “…I suspect there would be more groups – more people actively involved in raising public awareness – who would speak up and engender a greater sense of this being an important issue.”
However Jordan Westfall of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs believes it is stigma around drug addicts that has caused the muted response around the issue.
Westfall said: “I think if it was any other group of people dying like this, we would have handled it a long time ago.”