Some progress in the fight against opioid overdoses

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann is pleased with news the government has finally announced changes to the way it is fighting against opioid overdose and addiction.

Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne today announced an improvement in collection and publishing of data, expanded access to opioid replacement therapy, funding for supervised consumption sites and improvements to opioid prescription monitoring.

“For months public health experts, doctors and victim’s families have been calling for these changes,” Swann said. “I’m pleased the government has finally committed to taking these life-saving actions.”

Swann and other public health experts have repeatedly asked the government to alter the way it is handling the opioid overdose epidemic. Of particular concern has been the collection and dissemination of data crucial to understanding the nature of this crisis and access to addiction treatment.

The province also released third quarter statistics showing there were 47 fentanyl related deaths in the third quarter. Down from 66 in the same quarter last year.

“It’s far too early in this epidemic to claim any successes but this small dip in tragic and preventable deaths is encouraging,” Swann stated.

“The long called for measures announced today will undoubtedly aid in the fight against opioid overdoses,” Swann continued. “I, and all those who have fought for change, will be watching closely to see that these vital tools are implemented in a timely manner.”

See the Alberta Health news release here: http://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=4370949C41F38-B3BB-E166-75134C94CF0754CD