Seven people died in Grande Prairie from opioid-related deaths in the first two months of 2021, all of which reported are from non-pharmaceutical opioids.

Fentanyl and its related drugs, as well as heroin, are considered to be non-pharmaceutical opioids, while prescribed opioids such as codeine, hydromorphone, and methadone are considered to be pharmaceutical opioids.

Based on data released from the Alberta Government, three of the deaths were reported in January, with the other four occurring in February.

The opioid-related deaths in the first two months of 2021 are significantly higher than those reported in the same time period in 2020, when just a single opioid-related death was identified.

Grande Prairie has the second-highest death rate this year amongst the major municipalities, with roughly 55 non-pharmaceutical opioid-related deaths for every 100,000 people. Red Deer has the highest non-pharmaceutical opioid-related death average at 59 deaths for every 100,000.

In the North Zone, 17 non-pharmaceutical opioid deaths were reported, with seven reported in January and 10 in February of this year.