File photo by ADVOCATE staff                                Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has seen a higher hospitalization rate for opioid poisonings.

File photo by ADVOCATE staff Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has seen a higher hospitalization rate for opioid poisonings.

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Hospitalizations for opioid poisonings were more than double the rate in smaller communities such as Red Deer than in Canada’s largest cities, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

The report — Opioid-Related Harms in Canada — showed rates of hospitalizations in 2017 were highest in communities with a population between 50,000 and 99,999. Red Deer had the 15th highest rate at 30.9 per 100,000 population.

In Calgary, the rate was 17.8, and in Edmonton, it was 18.5.

Rates of emergency department visits for opioid poisonings climbed 23 per cent in Alberta in 2017, and Red Deer had the 12th highest rate of emergency visits among small cities.

Mayor Tara Veer said pressures on the local emergency department are significantly affected by the addictions crisis, and so is ambulance service.

“When ambulances are tied up at emergency, and then not flexing throughout the community and available to other calls coming into 911, it certainly is a health issue in general, but also for the safety and access to services for all Red Deerians,” Veer said.

The addictions crisis also plays a role in the need to expand Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, she said.

Right now, the province is focusing on harm reduction, but city council also wants the province to look at prevention, intervention, enforcement and community safety.

Residents have consistently asked for residential treatment, but in September, Health Minister Sarah Hoffman made it clear the province has no intention of investing in residential treatment in Red Deer and region, Veer said.

“We would like to see a balance of integration of different approaches, so that there are services that citizens can access and make choices for themselves and their loved ones,” Veer said.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information said an estimated 3,996 Canadians died in 2017 because of opioid overdoses and hospitalization rates were up eight per cent from the previous year.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

red deer city

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

Two inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press File Photo)
2 Bowden inmates test positive for COVID-19

A pair of inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19.… Continue reading

Salons and barbershops are able to open on Monday, the Government of Alberta announced this week. (Photo courtesy Pixabay)
Red Deer salon owner “relieved” business can re-open next week

The owner of a Red Deer salon says she’s “definitely relieved” her… Continue reading

Red Deer Valhalla Pure Outfitters owner Darren Schaedeli has seen a significant increase in those looking to tackle winter experiences. Some are trying their hand at "hot tent camping" as he did in the West Country several weeks ago.
Photo contributed
Central Albertans enjoying the great outdoors this winter

Stir crazy and beach-deprived central Albertans are embracing the great outdoors this… Continue reading

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn. (Facebook)
Updated: Jason Kenney kicks Lesser Slave Lake MLA out of caucus

Pat Rehn will not be permitted to run for UCP nominations

One way to get infloor heating is with electrical cables installed underneath ceramic tiles. Here DITRA-HEAT cables are snapped into an uncoupling underlay that goes down before tiles. (Photo by Robert Maxwell)
Houseworks: Heating a basement under renovation

Q: Will DITRA-HEAT electric infloor heating be enough to make my finished… Continue reading

Super Valu has experienced an increase in demand for products such as toilet paper as people prepare for the coronavirus. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Hints from Heloise: Stock your closet

Dear Heloise: If this year has taught me anything, toilet paper, wipes,… Continue reading

Manchester United's Tobin Heath celebrates scoring against West Ham United during the FA Women's Super League match at Victoria Road Stadium, London, Sunday Oct. 18, 2020. (John Walton/PA via AP)
Double 1st: Man U men, women leading 2 leagues, play champs

Double 1st: Man U men, women leading 2 leagues, play champs

A group of Buffalo Bills fans from Toronto pose for a photo while tailgating in the parking lot of New Era Field before an NFL football game between the Bills and the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Adrian Kraus
Being unable to attend Bills playoff games due to pandemic pains Canadian fans

Being unable to attend Bills playoff games due to pandemic pains Canadian fans

FILE - Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning during a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, in this Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, file photo. Bryant is among roughly 125 players who entered Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, eligible to exchange salary arbitration figures with their teams. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
Lindor, Bryant, Bellinger, Seager get big-money deals

Lindor, Bryant, Bellinger, Seager get big-money deals

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash points during the third quarter of the team's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in New York. (Brad Penner/Pool Photo via AP)
More NBA games off, as league continues struggles with virus

More NBA games off, as league continues struggles with virus

Washington Capitals' Jakub Vrana (13) is congratulated for his goal during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Vanecek makes 28 saves in NHL debut, Capitals sweep Sabres

Vanecek makes 28 saves in NHL debut, Capitals sweep Sabres

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Collin Delia (60) makes a save after Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) fell down during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Stamkos, Palat lift Lightning over Blackhawks again

Stamkos, Palat lift Lightning over Blackhawks again

Most Read