In Alberta, opioid abuse is becoming an increasingly devastating problem. Statistics put out by the Alberta government show that this year’s fatal fentanyl overdose toll is already on pace to pass last year’s mark, and any year’s before it. This steady increase has resulted in Alberta Health Services to take steps to raise awareness, as well making opioid dependency treatment more available.
AHS has started an ad campaign that includes posters in restaurants, post-secondary institutions, and in transit services. As well, ads on FM radio stations, music streaming services such as Spotify, and on various social media platforms. The aim of this campaign is to reduce the stigma and advertise the new support options AHS is implementing.
This main focus of these options is to assist those who have already developed an opioid dependence. Safe consumption sites are becoming increasingly more common. One centre in Calgary reversed 55 overdoses and had 2 551 clients in the first two months of being open. Accompanying these sites is the distribution of over 94 297 naloxone kits as of July 31, 2018 which has resulted in 2 400 voluntarily reported overdose reversals. Along with this, AHS has an online support and information website which can be found at www.drugsafe.ca
The hope is that the proactive awareness campaign, paired with the reactive treatment options limit new cases of opioid dependence, while simultaneously helping manage and treat those that have already been afflicted.
PS: The 9th annual Harvest Ball is happening tonight at 6 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion. We hope everyone attending has a great time, and if you’re looking for more information on the ball it can be found at this link https://fschf.ca/harvest-ball-tickets-available-online/