December 18, 2015
Safer communities, saving lives: Combatting the fentanyl crisis
Today, Wildrose released 10 recommendations for the NDP government to implement immediately in order to address the rising fentanyl crisis taking place in Alberta, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Alberta is at a critical stage of safeguarding our communities and improving the health of our citizens in the face of an unprecedented fentanyl crisis. Wildrose’s 10-point plan to combat this crisis includes measures such as implementing a new “patch for patch” system, further empowering front-line workers and restoring funding of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT).
“Fentanyl has a devastating impact on our communities, and the current crisis must be addressed,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “There are common-sense solutions that could be put into place right away by the NDP government that would save lives.”
Fentanyl is reported to be approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 20 times more so than OxyContin. As little as a few grains of sand worth of drug can prove deadly.
“All Albertans are feeling either the direct or indirect impact of this crisis, whether it be due to the tragic loss of a loved one, or because of an increase in crime in their community,” Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr said. “Now is the time for action, and to ensure that we have a plan in place to ensure harm reduction in our province.”
In 2015 to date, authorities have recorded 213 overdose deaths in Alberta due to fentanyl. The number could be much higher, because the province currently does not have the ability to accurately record these statistics.
“Alberta’s health professionals want to help alleviate the crisis in our province,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said. “The NDP government needs to give those working in health the tools they need to administer lifesaving drugs, as well as to provide education on the dangers of fentanyl.”
Wildrose will urge all political parties at the Alberta Legislature to support this 10-point-plan, and to introduce legislation at the first possible opportunity.
You can read the recommendations here.