Black Press photo

Red Deer has highest fentanyl-related death rate in Alberta in 2018

Alberta Health report shows Red Deer has highest death rate based on population

So far this year Red Deer is the deadliest city in Alberta when it comes to fentanyl.

Red Deer has the highest rate of fentanyl-related deaths at 37.3 per 100,000 population with 10 deaths in the first three months of 2018, according to Alberta Health’s recently released Opioids and Substances of Misuse 2018 Q1 report released Tuesday.

Mayor Tara Veer said opioid related death numbers in the City of Red Deer have been consistently high.

The city had the highest fatality rate for the entire year in 2016 with 23 deaths. Red Deer had dropped to the second highest rate 25 deaths in 2017.

Across the province, a total of 139 deaths were related to fentanyl in the first quarter of 2018. Lethbridge had the second highest rate at 32.1 with eight deaths. Calgary had 72 deaths with a rate of 21.6. Edmonton saw 43 deaths with a rate of 17.4.

A comparison of health zones showed Central Alberta had the second highest rate at 13.9 with 17 fentanyl-related deaths. Calgary Zone had the highest rate at 18.1 with 75.

Between January to March, Alberta witnessed 158 accidental overdose deaths related to fentanyl. Eighty eight per cent of these deaths were in urban municipalities: Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

“It’s no surprise that larger urban municipalities continue to experience the highest rate of deaths,” said Veer.

“I think (Red Deer numbers are) consistent geographically as well as other trends we see among other Alberta municipalities,” said Veer.

Veer said the city has paved the way at the municipality level by passing bylaws such as the one on Monday night, which will allow for a mobile supervised consumption site to operate within city limits.

Now it comes down to Alberta Health Services or AHS agencies such as Turning Point and Safe Harbour Society to apply for a federal exemption application – something not in the hands of city council – she said.

A federal government exemption is needed to operate a safe consumption site upon which illegal drugs can be consumed legally under supervision.

“The timing of that particular process (federal government exemption) is in the hands of the provincial government, its agencies and the the government of Canada,” she said.

Veer said council pursued the mobile option given the urgency for the need of service in Red Deer.

She said a long-term permanent location can still be pursued.

She said Red Deer Hospital Regional Centre is available for both permanent site or a mobile safe consumption site, “much like AHS delivered at the Sheldon Chumir Centre in Calgary.”

See related:

Red Deer public fears about mobile SCS units may transpire – or not

Red Deer city council approves bylaw for mobile SCS unit



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Photos: Children enjoy petting animals near Red Deer Sunday

Children and families learned about various animals and birds at a petting… Continue reading

Search for missing Tofino boaters scaled back, handed over to RCMP

TOFINO, B.C. — Jae Valentine woke to the sound of wolves howling… Continue reading

Get ready for the ‘internet of cows’: Farmers use technology to shake up agriculture

MONTREAL — Get ready for the “internet of cows.” Generations of farmers… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer cadets conclude year of learning

After a year of hard work, Red Deer’s local Air and Army… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta High School Soccer League champs crowned

Lindsay Thurber girls’ team and Notre Dame boys’ team won Saturday at Edgar Park Field in Red Deer

5 dead as SUV chased by Border Patrol crashes in South Texas

BIG WELLS, Texas — At least five people were killed and several… Continue reading

Ramifications of a trade war: an expert look at the numbers for Canada

OTTAWA — A new analysis of escalating trade disputes involving the United… Continue reading

Deliberate spill: study launched to test crude and bitumen impact on lake life

KENORA, Ont. — Researchers were in northwestern Ontario over the weekend spilling… Continue reading

Two-spirit N.B. First Nation chief says his election points to progress

FREDERICTON — The new leader of a New Brunswick First Nation said… Continue reading

Google diversity report: Black women make up only 1.2 percent of its US workforce

Google released its annual workforce diversity report Thursday, marking only modest changes… Continue reading

Brazil held to 1-1 draw by Switzerland at World Cup

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Brazil joined the list of big teams struggling to… Continue reading

Canada’s Auger-Aliassime wins Sopra Steria title for 2nd straight year

LYON, France — Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime defended his ATP Challenger Sopra Steria… Continue reading

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

MOSCOW — The suspect in a taxi crash near Red Square that… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month