The Opioid Crisis: A Disturbing Trend in Calgary
Approximately two people are dying every day in Alberta due to opioid overdoses, a tragic statistic that lays bare the reality of the Calgary opioid crisis. This ongoing public health emergency has led to increasing crime rates, widespread homelessness, and stretched first responders to the brink. Opioids, powerful drugs that can alleviate severe pain, are highly addictive and are flooding our communities at an alarming rate.
Where is the crisis most severe?
The opioid crisis is most severe in Canada’s cities, with Calgary being particularly impacted. However, rural areas, such as the Piikani Nation, are also being devastated by the scourge of opioids.
What is being done to combat the crisis?
Governmental agencies, first responders, community leaders, and healthcare organizations are working diligently to develop a comprehensive and effective response to the surging opioid crisis. Additionally, Canada’s judiciary is playing its part through the ongoing Canadian opioid abatement class action.
The Impact of the Opioid Crisis
The effects of the opioid crisis are widespread and far-reaching, impacting not only individuals using the drugs but also their families, communities and the broader societal fabric:
- Skyrocketing overdose rates: In 2020 alone, Alberta reported approximately 1,316 opioid-related deaths.
- Rising crime rates: Increasingly, individuals suffering from opioid addiction are resorting to criminal activities to sustain their habit, leading to a surge in crime rates across affected areas.
- Growing homelessness: The opioid crisis and homelessness often go hand-in-hand. Many of those suffering from addiction end up losing their jobs, their homes, and their support systems to the habit.
Efforts to address the opioid crisis
Despite the grim statistics, numerous initiatives are being implemented to combat the opioid crisis:
- Naloxone distribution: The distribution of naloxone, a medication that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose, has been scaled up across the province.
- Increase in support services: More funding and resources are being funneled into addiction support services to help those affected by the crisis.
- Opioid abatement class action: Ongoing litigation seeks to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis and fund treatments, preventative measures and recovery initiatives.
In conclusion, the opioid crisis that is ravaging Calgary and indeed, Canada as a whole, is a complex issue that demands a multifaceted approach. The current efforts, from increasing the distribution of naloxone to engaging in litigation against pharmaceutical companies, are important steps on this journey. However, a sustained, concerted effort from all facets of society is required to truly combat this uphill battle. Raising awareness is crucial. By sharing and resourcing information we can all contribute to alleviating the suffering caused by the opioid crisis. Through empathy, understanding, and action, it’s possible to create a future where opioids no longer claim lives in our community.