Of the fentanyl-related deaths across Alberta this year, 81 per cent occured in cities including Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie.
Red Deer’s death count stands at 16 so far in 2017. In 2016, the number was higher at 23.
With a 19.3 local death rate, Red Deer has the second highest rate per 100,000 people, in the province in 2017. That number puts the city right behind Grande Prairie at 31.2 while Calgary is sitting at 17.2 and Edmonton is at 12.8 for the same period.
In 2016, Red Deer’s rate was 21.
Alberta Health Services released third quarter statistics on Monday that show so far, in 2017, there have been 482 accidental drug overdose deaths related to opioids. The numbers show a 40 per cent increase in deaths this year, compared to last, with 346 deaths. This means in Alberta 1.8 individuals die every day due to an accidental drug overdose related to opioids.
In the most recent quarter, there were 143 accidental drug overdoses related to fentanyl in Alberta.
In the AHS’s Central Alberta zone, there were 69 accidental fentanyl deaths so far in 2017.
Since January 2016, 757 people in Alberta died from an accidental drug overdose related to fentanyl. This number includes 126 deaths where carfentanil was detected.
Carfentanil, a synthetic opioid, is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and 10,000 times more toxic than morphine.