Who pops the most painkillers? How Canada’s opioid use compares with the rest of the world

Canada leads the world in hydromorphone consumption (2010 data).
Canada leads the world in hydromorphone consumption (2010 data). Pain & Policy Studies Group, University of Wisconsin Carbone

Used to be that America could easily claim the title of world opioid capital. But when it comes to the most powerful prescription drugs, Canada is now ahead – in part because of higher hydromorphone use.

Canadians have used more hydromorphone than anyone else in the world – by a wide margin – every year since 2006. Use the slider to explore each year.

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Canada and the U.S. use far more oxycodone – the active ingredient in OxyContin/OxyNEO, Percocet and other drugs – than the rest of the world. Use the arrows at the bottom of the graphic to compare consumption from year to year. Double-click to zoom. Click and drag to move around.

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Canadians use more fentanyl than the U.S., but less than some European countries:

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