The Opioid Crisis in Alberta: Response & Recovery

The opioid crisis in Alberta is a pressing public health issue, prompting a comprehensive response to combat rising deaths and societal challenges.

The Canadian Opioid Crisis: Alberta’s Approach and Response

In recent years, Canada has faced a distressing surge in opioid overdoses and deaths, influencing a nationwide public health crisis. Alberta has subsequently decided to take back control of its opioid crisis response. This article, sourced from Todayville, investigates the severity of the opioid crisis in Alberta and the province’s plan to address it.

Understanding the Magnitude of the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is a complex public health issue that is correlated with various socio-economically driven issues like homelessness and crime. An increase in opioid usage has led to a surge in related deaths, with 449 recorded deaths from opioid poisoning in Alberta in the first half of 2020 alone. This data underscores the severity of the opioid crisis in Alberta and across Canada.

The Impact on Homelessness and Crime

The opioid crisis has drastically impacted homelessness in Alberta. This vulnerable population is at an elevated risk for opioid poisoning due to an array of factors, including lack of access to healthcare and the prevalence of substance use disorders among this population. Crime rates have also increased, perpetuating a cycle of violence and addiction that is particularly challenging to break.

Alberta’s Approach to Combating the Crisis

In efforts to combat this crisis, Alberta has taken back control of two federally managed Safe Consumption Sites. The sites, previously managed by ARCHES, will now be overseen by Alberta Health Services (AHS). This move serves as a strategy to increase control and ensure that those struggling with addiction have access to the services they need.

Implementation of the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action

Alberta has also pursued a unique approach to combating the opioid crisis by launching the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action. This class action lawsuit targets opioid manufacturers and wholesalers in an attempt to hold them accountable for their role in the crisis and recoup the substantial costs associated with addressing the crisis.

Provision of Naloxone Kits

In response to the increasing opioid-related deaths, Alberta has expanded the accessibility of naloxone kits, a medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, in pharmacies and community organizations throughout the province.

Key Points:

  • The opioid crisis is a significant issue in Alberta, leading to an increased rate of opioid poisoning deaths, homelessness, and crime.
  • Alberta has taken back control of its opioid crisis response, including the management of two Safe Consumption Sites previously overseen by ARCHES.
  • Alberta has launched the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action, aiming to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis.
  • The province has increased the accessibility of naloxone kits to combat the rise in opioid-related deaths.


In conclusion, the opioid crisis in Alberta, and across Canada, is an urgent public health issue that requires robust and multi-pronged interventions. Alberta’s response to the crisis, including assuming management of Safe Consumption Sites, launching a comprehensive class action lawsuit, and increasing the accessibility of naloxone kits, displays the province’s commitment to addressing and mitigating the impacts of this crisis. The others provinces and territories can take a page from Alberta’s book and embrace localized approaches to dealing with the opioid crisis, tailoring interventions to their specific needs. It is only through joint efforts that we can hope to end this crisis and create a safer, healthier future for all Canadians.


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