Alberta gets $6M in federal funding to combat opioid crisis

Alberta gets $6M in federal funding to combat opioid crisis

Ottawa is giving Alberta $6 million in emergency funding to battle the opioid crisis.

"Alberta, like British Columbia, has been disproportionately affected by overdose deaths and so we agreed to support Alberta in those emergency needs in the order of $6 million," federal Health Minister Jane Philpott said Friday. 

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said the money will complement extra provincial funding the government will announce next week. 

Hoffman said the money will go towards opioid replacement therapies and supervised consumption sites.

"So that those who are going to choose to use can have an increased opportunity to live another day and as well as moving forward with treatment opportunities," she said. 

The announcement came four days after Alberta MLAs held an emergency debate on how to curb the surging numbers of opioid deaths in the province.

The opposition criticized the NDP government for not declaring a public health emergency and getting help from Ottawa, unlike British Columbia, which received $10 million.

Fentanyl overdoses claimed the lives of 343 Albertans last year. 

The federal government said Friday that including the emergency funding for Alberta, it has now announced a total of $81 million to combat the opioid crisis.