Alarming increase in opioid overdoses in Alberta
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Friday, May 19, 2017 5:23PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, May 19, 2017 7:04PM MDT
The Alberta Government has compiled statistics regarding the misuse of opioids, including fentanyl, in the province and the number of overdose deaths in Alberta has increased dramatically in the last year.
According to Alberta Health’s Opioids and Substances of Misuse report for the first quarter of 2017, 113 Albertans died as a result of a fentanyl-related overdose in the first three months of this year with the lion’s share of the deaths occurring in Calgary and Edmonton. In the first three months of 2016, there were 70 fentanyl-related deaths.
The Calgary zone has the dubious distinction of having the most fentanyl-related deaths in 2017 with 51. The Edmonton zone, with 36 deaths, had the second most fentanyl-related overdoses in the period from January 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017.
Emergency departments at hospitals throughout the province are experiencing an increase in the number of patients who have misused opioids or other substances.
- 9,037 emergency visits (6,866 unique patients) related to opioids or substances of misuse in 2016
- 7,516 emergency visits related to opioids or substances of misuse in 2016
While instances of opioid abuse are on the rise, access to naloxone kits is improving as well. Currently, 1,095 sites in Alberta are registered to distribute the kits and, to date, more than 15,000 kits have been distributed.
The report is available for viewing, in its entirety, below (courtesy: Alberta Government)