Central Alberta agency gave a presentation on drug awareness on April 24th

On average two people per day die in Alberta due to opioid overdose

By Kevin J Sabo

For the Advance

On average two people per day die in Alberta due to opioid overdose, according to the Alberta government web site.

The end result of this epidemic is that 746 people lost their lives to opioids in 2018, and the trend has continued to grow over the last few years, officials say.

With this information in mind, Castor and Coronation FCSS partnered together to bring a group of speakers from Turning Point in Red Deer to speak on the topic of drug use and overdose.

This is the third time the presentation has run in Coronation and beginning in 2020 the plan will be to alternate the presentations location between Castor and Coronation, sponsored by both communities FCSS programs.

Turning Point, formerly known as the Central Alberta AIDS Network Society (CAANS) has been promoting harm reduction, amongst many other activities, since 1988 through Central Alberta.

Some of their other activities include running a women’s program, rural outreach, prevention, Night Reach in Red Deer, and overdose prevention.

“There’s a story behind every person that’s using,” said Tricia Peden, an overdose prevention and education facilitator.

“The opioid crisis is happening in every socio-economic group in the province.”

A dozen members of the local community attended the event, and were educated on the signs and symptoms of an overdose, methods of substance abuse, how to administer Narcan in the event of an overdose, and information specific to fentanyl – a synthetic opioid that has been showing up mixed in many other illegal drugs.

“Fentanyl the size of a grain of salt can get you high,” said Peden. “Fentanyl the size of two grains is enough to be fatal.”

As part of the harm reduction measures that Turning Point uses, they operate a safe injection site in Red Deer, they clean up drug use debris when they come across it, they supply Narcan kits at no charge, they supply clean injection equipment at no charge, they help connect those wanting rehab with the proper resources in the community, and they reverse overdoses should they occur at the centre or through their community outreach.

To date, the group from Turning Point reported that there have been 300 overdose reversals since October alone.

The war on drugs has raged for decades in North America, and there are no signs of it ending anytime soon. Even the region surrounding Castor is not immune to the problem, according to stats released by the Coronation RCMP ending Dec. 31st, 2018. Two charges of drug trafficking and four charges of drug possession were laid.

A person who uses drugs will find ways to partake in the substances that they know are unhealthy for them.

Fortunately, there are people out there working diligently to reduce the stigma and risk of drug use, making it easier for those fighting the battle of substance use to get the help that they need, officials point out.

Narcan kits are available at no charge through Turning Point, and through any community pharmacy, no questions asked.


@mweberRDExpress
editor@stettlerindependent.com.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The ‘Lunch-with-a-firefighter’ event was held Aug. 20th

Members of the public met their local firefighters and checked out fire equipment in the County

Alberta RCMP warns property owners of paving contractor scams

Travelling companies offer paving or roof sealing services typically to seniors in rural communities

Local farm participates in sixth annual Alberta Open Farm Day

Five generations have worked the land at Lazy T Farm north of Halkirk

Stettler County and Paradise Shores remain at standstill

No timeline as to when 220 leases can return to Buffalo Lake

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Alberta oil curtailment rules extended to late 2020 as pipeline delays drag on

At issue is ability to export oil in face of regulatory and legal challenges against pipelines

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read