Edmonton doctors form opioid response committee to address spiking overdoses

·1 min read

EDMONTON — An opioid poisoning committee has been formed by a group of Edmonton physicians to address spiking overdose deaths in the community.

The Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association says the committee will advocate for people who use drugs, recommend short- and long-term strategies to reduce overdose deaths, and raise public awareness.

The association says the committee was formed, in part, because of a "clear lack of leadership and support" by the Government of Alberta.

They say the epidemic needs to be treated with urgency, with an average of four Albertans dying daily from accidental drug poisonings.

A total of 624 Albertans died by accidental overdose in the first five months of 2021 — a 41 per cent increase compared to the same time period last year.

Committee members say the crisis is not being treated as a health emergency and more people will die from increasingly toxic street drugs until it is.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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