Alta. launches opi­oid aware­ness cam­paign

Lethbridge Herald - - ODDS & ENDS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — CAL­GARY

Al­berta Health Ser­vices has in­tro­duced a new provincewide opi­oid aware­ness cam­paign.

It in­cludes ad­ver­tis­ing on light-rail tran­sit trains in Ed­mon­ton and Cal­gary, bill­boards, ra­dio spots and posters at post-sec­ondary cam­puses, in restau­rants and in bars.

As­so­ciate Health Min­is­ter Brandy Payne says the cam­paign hopes to in­crease aware­ness of the sup­ports avail­able that could help save lives oth­er­wise lost to fen­tanyl and other opi­oids.

It also re­flects in­put from fam­i­lies who have lost loved ones to an opi­oid over­dose.

Payne notes the prov­ince is al­ready in­creas­ing ac­cess to opi­oid de­pen­dency treat­ment, nalox­one kits to coun­ter­act fen­tanyl over­doses and su­per­vised con­sump­tion ser­vices.

The prov­ince re­leased a re­port in late Novem­ber that said 462 peo­ple died in Al­berta from fen­tanyl over­doses be­tween Jan. 1 and Nov. 11 last year com­pared with 293 in 2016.

Kathryn Todd, an Al­berta Health Ser­vices vice-pres­i­dent, says the opi­oid cri­sis af­fects ev­ery­one and all Al­ber­tans need to know what they can do to help.

“The opi­oid cri­sis is im­pact­ing Al­ber­tans in all com­mu­ni­ties, from all walks of life and at all ages and stages,” Todd said in a re­lease Mon­day.

The cam­paign is to run through March.

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