Ten lives were lost to fatal opioid overdoses in Grande Prairie this June and July. According to new data from the Alberta Substance Use Surveillance System, five acute substance deaths were reported each month, all related to non-pharmaceutical opioids.

The most recently reported losses bring the year-to-date total for accidental opioid overdoses in the community to 30, giving it a rate of 78.7 per 100,000 person years, and overall acute substance deaths to 32. In the first seven months of 2020, there were 14 opioid-related deaths and 15 acute substance deaths. Grande Prairie had the highest rate of per capita opioid deaths of any major city in Alberta in both June and July.

The second quarter of the year saw the highest number of visits to the Supervised Consumption Site since the first quarter of 2020 at 2,138 visits. During that time there 28 adverse events attended to, also the highest numbers since the first three months of 2020. More recent data is not yet available.

Across Alberta, 130 opioid deaths were reported in June and 112 in July, bringing the year-to-date total to 821. Albertans struggling with addiction can contact the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322 for support, information, and referral to services. The toll-free, confidential helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.