In 2015 alone, Alberta has seen 213 fentanyl fatalities. This is nearly doubling the 120 deaths from last year.

Fentanyl Fatalities On The Rise
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The larger number of deaths are being seen in the bigger cities, Calgary and Edmonton; however, according to Alberta Health Services, the highest rate of fentanyl usage is seen in the more southern parts of the province.

Read more: What Is Fentanyl?

To curb this problem and to avoid future deaths, the province is making 2,000 more fentanyl antidote kits available. They contain the drug, naloxone, which competes for similar opiate receptors, decreasing the potency of fentanyl.

“This does not make it safe in any way to use fentanyl or any other oopioid, but it does create a last-minute opportunity to have the last hope to be able to revive somebody when they have overdosed,” says Sarah Hoffman, Health Minister.

Joanna Oda, a medical officer with AHS in the Edmonton zone, emphasizes that “just a small amount [of fentanyl] can cause trouble… if someone is experiencing an overdose… it’s very important to call 911.”

Facts about fentanyl:

  • 100 times more potent than morphine
  • 20 times more powerful than OxyContin
  • Synthetic opiate narcotic perscribed to those experiencing chronic pain
  • Referred to as “green beans”, “green jellies”, or “street Oxy”
  • Majority of users are between ages 19 and 35