“The Alberta Health Q4 report on opioid abuse in Alberta reveals that we are now close to seeing more Albertans die from fentanyl and other opioid overdoses than from highway fatalities,” said Mike Ellis, MLA for Calgary West and Justice & Solicitor General critic. “As more and more Albertans are lost to these deadly drugs, it’s time for the provincial government to stop taking reactive measures to tackle this crisis and finally call this what it is: a public health emergency.”
The Progressive Conservative caucus has consistently advocated for the provincial government to declare a public health emergency and to strike up an all-party Opioid Abuse Committee. Calling a public emergency would increase awareness and prevention for the abuse of opioid drugs, including providing the public with access to real-time statistics. An Opioid Abuse Advisory Committee would focus on increasing access to long-term treatment for opioid addicts, improving in-patient services and developing an integrated service delivery model.
“As legislators, we have taken a number of steps in the right direction to address this issue, like equipping front line staff with naloxone kits to save lives,” said Ellis. “But the skyrocketing numbers tell us that the government is not getting ahead of this issue and more needs to be done. With the lives of Albertans at stake, our caucus will continue to work with all parties to address this health emergency.”