May 28th, 2024

Alberta sets record 904 opioid deaths to date in 2020, cites COVID-19 as factor

By Herald on December 18, 2020.

Drug paraphernalia litters the concrete ledges underneath a roadway overpass. Herald file photo

The Canadian Press

EDMONTON – Alberta is reporting 904 opioid-related deaths in the first 10 months of 2020, a sobering record surpassing the province’s current death count of COVID-19.

Premier Jason Kenney says the novel coronavirus has had an impact on those opioid numbers, reducing access to in-person treatment programs along with reports some people used federal COVID-19 income supports to purchase drugs.

Opioid deaths peaked at 806 in 2018 but had been begun falling prior to 2020.

The opioid-death statistics this year are calculated up to the end of October.

The province says there have been 790 deaths so far this year linked to COVID-19.

The Opposition NDP says Kenney’s United Conservative government has contributed to the rise in deaths, including closing a safe consumption site in Lethbridge earlier this year.

Kenney says the ARCHES site in Lethbridge was closed because an audit found financial irregularities. He adds that a mobile site has replaced it and opioid-related deaths in Lethbridge are decreasing.

Numbers reported for Lethbridge show 46 deaths attributed to drug poisoning so far in 2020.

The premier also announced a new online dashboard has been activated giving the public and caregivers more up-to-date information on substance abuse, with data on everything from patient counts to ambulance calls.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 18, 2020.

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A clever political maneuver: implying CERB increased opioid deaths (baaad Trudeau). And then trying to pass off his incompetent response to Covid-19 as some attempt to address the public health issue of addiction. It goes to show that you don’t have to actually do anything, you just have to know how to spin it.


Spun indeed. Much like the Dipper suggestion that closing Arches led to an increase in deaths when IN FACT the figures show deaths DECREASED in the months after closure.
All these deaths are tragic…spinning them to polish a turd is heartless.


You’ll have to share the research redults on that – if it is a fact.


Opiod Deaths in Leth. Apr.- Oct 2020
Apr 4. May 5. Jun. 10
July 6. Aug 7 Sept 3
Oct 3
All the grim details of age/gender etc for the Province , Zones and Municipalities can be found on the Alberta Substance use System {SAS]Visual Analytics page…feel free to Google and be enlightened.


Thanks for the data, JustObserving. But, as I was saying, where is the analysis? Variance, statistical significance, correcting for confoundiing variables if possible …

Saying the SCS closed, ergo deaths decreased is meaningless. You might have correlated it to hem heights or the conjunction of saturn and jupiter.


And 27,000 expected total deaths in 2020. Same as 2019. Nobody hears about the vast majority, just the progressive causes. Disgusting.


I guess being alive will lead to death, Resolute.


Well Fes you asked I share the research ” redults” which I took to mean ” results” with you. I did so with attribution to the source.
Now, much like an elementary maths teacher, you want me to ” show my work”.
Firstly I did not conduct this research and thus do not possess the raw data. Secondly, your query is likely answerable by a reading of the source I referenced or by a direct query to those who do possess the raw data.
I might suggest however that if you make such a query you leave out your reference to style trends or astronomical factors. You might be asked to prove YOUR thesis.
Have as Happy a Holiday as possible Fescue, and keep an open mind.


Actually, JustObserving, my point is that many here throw numbers around like chimps their feces. Saying that one month the numbers are such and the next month they are lower suggests that the trend is down can be misleading (or, maybe true, but unknown without more rigor). So, as I said, I look forward to a real analysis done on this issue and hope the real experts can ascertain what happened and what will work best going forward. (And, yes, I’ll leave out venus and mars 🙂

There is nothing wrong with experimentation or being wrong, which is another issue that many here cannot seem to grasp. Fail, try again, fail better. The pulling of hair and rending one’s garments over everything that is not a perfect success (in their estimation) paralyses people from trying new things, which is debilitating as we continue to face some serious issues.

And I sincerely hope that you, too, can find some joy over the Christmas season.