The Opioid Crisis in Calgary: Impact, Efforts, and Solutions

The Calgary opioid crisis wreaks havoc on property values, crime rates, and homelessness, necessitating collective action for resolution.

The Profound Impact of the Canadian Opioid Crisis: A Case Study on Calgary

Canada is facing a public health crisis of epic proportions. The scourge of opioids is leaving a clear mark on the country’s urban and rural landscapes alike. In this article, we take a closer look at the city of Calgary, one of the areas significantly affected by the opioid crisis. Using this CBC news report as a foundation, we’ll explore the impact opioids have, the ripple effects on communities, and the collective steps being taken to combat this crisis head-on.

Calgary Opioid Crisis Overview

Calgary, like many other cities across Canada, struggles with the harmful consequences of widespread opioid abuse. According to the report, Alberta’s recent real estate market and the general economy have taken a considerable hit due to the increased number of vacant properties.

This situation is partly due to a substantial increase in crime rates and homelessness, both linked to the rising problem of opioid addiction. The Calgary Police Service reports that criminal activity in vacant properties has soared, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is attributed to the increased vulnerability of individuals grappling with substance abuse during the uncertain circumstances introduced by the pandemic.

Effects of the Opioid Crisis on Calgary

According to the CBC article, the effects of the opioid crisis in Calgary include:

  • Increased crime rates:
  • Higher tendencies of homelessness;
  • Increment in vacant properties; and
  • Deterioration of the city’s general economy.

The rising rate of vacant properties stemming from the opioid crisis has not only declined property prices but also heralded an increase in criminal activities. Break-ins, squatters, and extensive property damage are matters of regular occurrence now.

Increased Homelessness and Crime

The ripple effect of the opioid crisis is evident in the intricate relationship between opioid addiction, homelessness, and crime in Calgary. Vacant properties in commercially viable locations are particularly susceptible to unlawful occupancy, transforming them into potential opioid usage spots. This criminal activity negatively influences surrounding businesses and communities, further exacerbating an already critical situation.

Efforts to Combat the Calgary Opioid Crisis

Calgary has recognized the seriousness of the opioid crisis and is proactively engaging in several initiatives to mitigate its effect. Calgary Police Service has established a Vacant Property Task Force to address the issues arising from neglected properties. The city has also initiated a property standards bylaw, ensuring accountability for property owners, thus aiming to prevent their misuse.

Naloxone Distribution

Moreover, the distribution of naloxone kits, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose, has been ramped up throughout Alberta. Calgary’s firefighters are now trained to administer naloxone, and many private businesses and property owners now keep these kits on-site as a precautionary measure.

Homeless Outreach

In efforts to address homelessness, Calgary is offering subsidized housing, and the Alpha House provides shelter and support to individuals struggling with addiction. Additionally, the Canadian opioid abatement class action seeks to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in exacerbating the crisis, potentially bringing significant resources to bear in fighting the opioid epidemic.

In Summary

The opioid crisis leaves a multi-dimensional impact on cities across Canada. It is not merely a public health issue but extends to disturb social order, property market, economy, and crime rates. The ripple effects can only be countered through persistent and coordinated efforts, akin to what Calgary has been trying to achieve.

The case study of Calgary’s fight against the opioid crisis manifests the significance of collective, sustained action to address this nationwide issue. The implementation of property responsibility laws, the distribution of naloxone kits, outreach programs for homeless people, and the direct action against pharmaceutical companies involved are crucial strides in combating this crisis.


While the opioid crisis in Calgary is a significant concern, the city’s proactive measures show promise in curtailing the crisis. The key takeaways from this article include:

  • The opioid crisis significantly impacts Calgary’s crime rate, homelessness issue, housing market, and overall economy.
  • Distribution of naloxone kits, enforcement of property maintenance regulations, and homelessness outreach programs are notable steps towards mitigating the crisis.
  • City officials, the police force, and general citizens must continue to work together collaboratively to bring about the desired change.
  • The Canadian opioid abatement class action against pharmaceutical companies can be instrumental in bringing additional resources into the fight against the opioid epidemic.

The battle against the opioid crisis is an ongoing and uphill one. But as is evident in Calgary, when communities rally together in a coordinated effort, it is possible to enact real change and gradually turn the tide on this dire public health situation.


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