Naloxone kits to counteract opioid overdose are routinely handed out to drug users in Red Deer. (File photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Fentanyl death rate in Red Deer still high

Nine deaths so far in 2017

Red Deer no longer has the highest rate of fentanyl deaths in Alberta, but per capita the city’s rate is still higher than Edmonton and Calgary.

As of June Red Deer’s rate was 14.9 per 100,000 and Grande Prairie was the highest at 23.4 according to the latest report from Alberta Health. Both communities have had nine deaths so far in 2017.

Calgary’s rate was at 14.9 with 98 deaths and Edmonton was at 13.3 with 65 deaths.

In 2016 Red Deer had the highest rate of fentanyl overdose deaths at 21 and there were 23 fentanyl-related deaths.

“The most concerning thing is we’ve implemented all these strategies. We have multiple places where people can access naloxone. We are increasing access to opiate replacement therapy and are numbers are still not decreasing,” said Sarah Fleck, interim operational manager at Turning Point.

“There still needs to be more in place to effectively combat the opiate crisis.”

She said so far this month Turning Point has distributed about 200 naloxone kits, and 50 drug overdose reversals and two fatalities have been reported to the agency.

“That’s a really substantial number in just over two weeks.”

She said Turning Point is still wondering when the city will be saturated with kits. More are being used and more people are learning about them and accessing them.

“We haven’t yet reached a place where we are stabilizing in terms of how many naloxone kits are going out each month.”

Across the province 241 people have died of fentanyl-related overdoses as of June. From January to March 122 died and from April to June 119 died.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

Women raising alarm about BBQ brushes

Beverly Smith’s ended up in an operating room after wire bristle pierced her bowel

Ban barbecue brushes: doctor

Brushes pose a health risk because wire bristles can get ingested

Live play and creche display in Red Deer open to the public

Church hosting live nativity, creche display A mainstay of some Red Deerians’… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer Royals nearing 50 years

The Red Deer Royals are a second family to Elise Bluett. The… Continue reading

Expect cooler temperatures and ‘dusting of snow’ this Christmas

Red Deer recorded a high temperature on Tuesday

Bed shortage means no mental reviews done yet on accused Edmonton attacker

A man accused of attempted murder after a police officer was hit… Continue reading

Update: Police release photo of suspected vehicle involved in fatal

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle near Ponoka

Notley criticizes MLA who fired staffer after sex harassment complaint

Notley says if Jason Nixon was her house leader he’d be out of a job immediately.

Red Deer needs to find a solution to syringe debris: city manager

City will consider the problem during the 2018 operating budget talks

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer Dec. 10

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

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