This release was issued under a previous government.

“Today is an especially difficult day for the thousands of Alberta families grieving for a loved one lost to overdose, and the thousands more who love someone who is struggling with substance use.

“These families live with the opioid emergency each and every day, and I’m grateful to them for sharing their stories and helping to guide our response.

“It’s a tough day for the paramedics, firefighters, police officers, emergency room staff and community workers who witness and respond to overdoses on a daily basis.

“To those who say more must be done, I agree whole-heartedly. That’s why we are expanding access to treatment and harm reduction services right across our province. We are also making new investments in prevention, data gathering and reporting.

“This is an emergency unlike anything seen before in Alberta, and it demands a different response than the emergencies of the past. That’s why we have assembled families, first responders, public health experts and Albertans with lived experience of substance use to help us provide the right response to save lives.

“As long as we are losing Albertans to preventable overdoses, we have more to do. On International Overdose Awareness Day, we must remember those we have lost and renew our determination to help those still in harm’s way.”