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Kevan Wu

Richmond SecondaryClass of 2024Richmond, BC


Hello, my name is Kevan, and I am a high school junior in the IB diploma programme. My project is on examining links between the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid misuse. I live by one of the biggest cities known for drug misuse, so I am interested to learn more about the topic. I am passionate about neuroscience and psychology, and I am currently a medical first responder interested in pursuing medicine in the future.

Project Portfolio

Examining Links Between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Opioid Misuse

Started May 13, 2022

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Abstract or project description

With more than 100,000 deaths in the United States, and over 41,600 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responses in Canada in 2021, the opioid misuse crisis has been one of the leading causes of death in both the United States and Canada. During 2016 in Canada, there were 2,861 opioid-related deaths, and from April 2019 to March 2020 this increased to 3,747 apparent opioid toxicity deaths. This dramatic increase was not just found in Canada. A similar trend can be seen in the U.S. with a 30% rise in deaths involving opioids from 2019 to 2020 (National Centre of Health Statistics, 2022). During this time, the world experienced a global pandemic that changed the way people lived. A relation between COVID-19 and opioid misuse can be established as COVID-19 has had an enormous amount of impact on housing insecurity, mental health challenges, and the way people lived, which each contributed to the risk of substance misuse and addiction.