During the month of February, you may see friends, co-workers and fellow Canadians wearing red to promote Heart Health Month. This 28-day long month will help bring awareness to a disease that is the second leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 17.3 million deaths worldwide every year.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in Canadian women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. An estimated 25 000 Canadian women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, with around 68 new diagnoses every day. Every October, we honour the women and men whose lives have been affected by this disease by remembering those who have lost their fight and by raising funds and awareness in the hopes of building a future without breast cancer.
Every year on August 31, the world observes Overdose Awareness Day and remembers those who have died or been injured as a result of a drug overdose. Substance abuse affects thousands of Canadians, with around 47,000 substance abuse related deaths occurring each year nationwide. Although Overdose Awareness Day marks an occasion of mourning and remembering, it is also a day of looking ahead in hope for a drug-free future.
Population surveys show the number of Canadians driving after using drugs is on the rise. Impaired driving has been a recognized criminal act in Canada since "1921":http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2013001/article/11739-eng.htm. Despite a sizable drop in the impaired driving rate since the mid-1980s, impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death in Canada.