Al­berta fen­tanyl over­dose deaths reached 343 in 2016

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

ED­MON­TON — The num­ber of deaths in Al­berta re­lated to fen­tanyl over­doses con­tin­ues to rise.

As­so­ciate health min­is­ter Brandy Payne says 343 peo­ple died from the opiod in 2016, com­pared with 257 deaths in 2015 and 117 the year be­fore that.

The prov­ince is fight­ing the drug on a num­ber of fronts, in­clud­ing dis­tribut­ing nalox­one kits, which can be used in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions to save an over­dose vic­tim.

Payne says they are chang­ing the rules to al­low more first re­spon­ders to de­liver nalox­one by in­jec­tions.

Fire­fight­ers, po­lice and peace of­fi­cers will now have ac­cess to the kits and train­ing at no cost.

Payne says the le­gal-med­i­cal sta­tus of nalox­one will also be changed to al­low more care providers to ad­min­is­ter it with­out su­per­vi­sion.

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