“Alberta’s government remains cautiously optimistic as opioid-related deaths declined again in April.

“There were 113 opioid-related overdose deaths throughout the province in April. This is seven per cent lower than in March.

“This also represents a decrease of 34 per cent since the provincial peak in November. Edmonton and Calgary’s opioid-related fatalities have dropped by 14 and 49 per cent, respectively, since November.    

“This data is available on the Alberta Substance Use Surveillance System, the most comprehensive opioid data reporting tool in the country.

“I want to thank the countless treatment professionals, outreach and harm reduction workers, EMS, police, corrections, doctors and nurses who work tirelessly to save people’s lives.

“This is important work and we cannot do it alone. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of people with addiction. Between the pandemic and the opioid crisis, it has been a difficult few years. Yet through it all, you have been showing up, doing your best – and saving lives.

“While this decrease is encouraging news, there are still too many people losing their lives to addiction. We must remain vigilant.

“That’s why we’re continuing to build a recovery-oriented system of addiction and mental health care focused on increasing access to a continuum of services, from prevention and intervention to treatment and recovery. This includes funding more treatment spaces, breaking down financial barriers to treatment and creating a collaborative, seamless system that benefits all Albertans who need help. We are also supporting harm reduction initiatives like the Digital Overdose Response System, a mobile app that provides emergency medical response to anyone who overdoses while using alone, that is now available provincewide.

“Recovery from addiction is possible. It’s not an easy path, but the thousands of Albertans currently living in recovery will tell you that it is the right one.

“I encourage everyone who needs help to reach out. Call the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program to start treatment right away. Albertans can also contact 211 Alberta or visit recoveryaccessalberta.ca for information on resources and treatment options in their community.”