Between January and March of this year, 37 people in Lethbridge died due to fatal opioid overdose. According to data from the Alberta Substance Use Surveillance System, all the deaths were linked to non-pharmaceutical opioids.
Lethbridge saw a spike in deaths in February, with 19 — this is the deadliest month on the Alberta Substance Use Surveillance System, which goes back to 2016. The first quarter of this year saw 10 more deaths compared to the last three months of 2021.
The data shows 67 per cent of the deaths happened in private residences — 37 per cent were where victims lived and 30 per cent were in residences where they did not live.
In the same time period, there were 441 people across the province who died from opioid overdose. Of these, 65 per cent were in private residences. Provincially in 2022, 74.8 per cent of overdose deaths were men and the age group that saw the most was 35-39.
Albertans struggling with addiction can contact the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322 for support, information, and referral to services. The toll-free, confidential helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.