In this Oct. 22, 2018 file photo, a fentanyl user holds a needle near Kensington and Cambria in Philadelphia. Suicides and drug overdoses helped lead a surge in U.S. deaths last year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live. U.S. health officials released the latest numbers Thursday, Nov. 29. Death rates for heroin, methadone and prescription opioid painkillers were flat. But deaths from the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins continued to soar in 2017.  (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File)

Red Deer reports three opioid-related deaths in May

Government of Alberta recently released data for the month

There were three opioid-related drug poisoning deaths in the City of Red Deer during May, according to the provincial government.

The Government of Alberta recently released data for the month through the province’s Substance Use Surveillance System.

The three opioid-related deaths in May are the same amount as April. This number is lower than the first three months of 2022: seven were reported in both January and March, and six were reported in February.

There was just one opioid-related death in May 2021.

Through the first five months of the year, there have been 26 opioid-related deaths. This is the highest total through the same time period of any year available on the Substance Use Surveillance System – data is available from 2016 and onwards.

Alberta’s Central Zone recorded a total of eight opioid-related poisoning deaths in May. Provincially there were 116 opioid-related deaths among the 118 total poisoning deaths caused by any substance. Red Deer recorded one drug poisoning death that was not opioid-related.

Lori Sigurdson, NDP critic for mental Health and addictions, issued a statement Monday regarding drug poisoning deaths in May.

“I extend my condolences to all the loved ones of people who have passed away from preventable drug poisonings. These tragic deaths must be a call to action for the government to do better,” said Sigurdson.

In Edmonton, there were 46 drug poisoning deaths in May, with 45 of those being opioid-related. There were 36 drug poisoning deaths in Calgary – all were opioid-related.

Fort McMurray had no opioid-related deaths, Grande Prairie had five, Lethbridge had five and Medicine Hat had one.

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