24 May Calgary’s fentanyl crisis: more drug interventions are needed
A newly released report has put Calgary at the forefront of fentanyl-related drug overdoses across Alberta.
In the first quarter of 2017, 113 people have died from apparent drug overdoses related to fentanyl in the province. In comparison, 70 people died in the first quarter of 2016. According to the Government of Canada, the Calgary Zone continues to have the highest rate per 100,000 at 3.1, compared to the provincial average of 2.6 per 100,000.
Andy Bhatti, professional interventionist for Calgary and Vancouver, says there is a need for more interventions in Alberta because he believes Calgary has a fentanyl crisis. Andy works with families and people suffering from addiction and provides support for their recovery. He also helps professional athletes and employees in the Alberta oil fields get the help they need.
[Read more: 7 critical considerations for holding a substance abuse intervention]
While Andy is based out of Calgary, he’s taken every Calgary patient to British Columbia for treatment, mostly in Kelowna and Vancouver. Andy says there aren’t enough treatment services in Calgary for him to keep his clients in the city.
“The B.C. recovery rate is 100% better than Calgary in my experience. 80% of my clients stay in British Columbia after treatment and don’t go back to Calgary. One client is three years clean and is now working at a treatment centre in Vancouver.”
Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and is known as a silent killer.
When Andy does an intervention, it includes a urine test to determine what drugs are in a client’s system. A lot of the time people are surprised when they test positive for fentanyl because they never knowingly took it.
Last year, 343 people died from drug overdoses related to Fentanyl in Alberta. That’s 86 more deaths than in 2015.
One way to help prevent a drug overdose is by carrying a Naloxone kit with you. Kits are available free of charge to anyone at risk of opioid overdose.
To get a kit, visit one of the following organizations or head to your local walk-in clinic:
- Pharmacies and walk-in clinics carrying Take Home Naloxone Kits (interactive map)
- Take Home Naloxone Walk-in Clinics (PDF)
- Pharmacies Carrying Take Home Naloxone Kits (PDF)
However, the best way to prevent a drug overdose is to speak to a professional about getting clean.
Andy has performed interventions and treatment planning in Calgary for more than nine years. After the initial phone call, Andy can be in Calgary within 24 hours to begin the recovery treatment process.
To set up a free consultation, contact Andy Bhatti today.