MEDICINE HAT, AB – "The Opioid Crisis" is one of the fragments that the Albertians hear several times a week.
But many do not see what that term means and the number of lives that are taken.
Since 1 January 2016, 1782 people have died of accidental opioid poisoning in Alberta.
According to "Alberta Health", Medical Shat has already exceeded the total number of fentanyl deaths last year.
"I think what it shows is that Medicine Hat in terms of comparison with itself from previous years," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, acting chief health care provider for Alberta Health. "That the problem may be even worse.
In 2016, Medical Shat has two deaths related to fentanyl. In 2017, there were seven, and from September 30, 2018, there were eight.
In fact, the southern zone of Alberta is right behind Calgary for the most deaths in the province.
In 2016 there were 13 deaths, in 2017 there were 27, and by September 30 there were 37 deaths.
"Fentanyl is a lethal substance," says Inspector Brent Vtoriac with the Medical Chath Police Service "It may kill you for the first time in use, so that's definitely a question here."
Despite the increase, the Medical Hat still has fewer deaths than the fentanyl population compared to almost every major city of Alberta.
In addition, Medicine Hat has not lost any life associated with other opioids.
"I think provincially we are still in the big scheme of things compared to Lethbridge and Grande Prairie," said Inspector Secondiak. "We're still in a better place than these two cities.
Lethbridge has a population of about 100,000 and has already had 22 deaths, and Grande Prairie with a population of about 63,000 people has seen 16 people.
Although the number of fatal cases of overdose increases. Hinshaw says the speed they are developing seems to have slowed.
"I think this is a sign that we can take as something encouraging," she said. – We do not see the constant upward trends we have seen over the past few years.
Dr. Hinshaw says other communities may experience a delayed increase due to safe consumption.
Medicine Hat does not have a site, and the plateau is also visible.
Inspector Secondiak says this is likely because of the first responders and the use of overdose reversible drug Naloxone, also known as NARCAN.
"I hope this is because our first officers have NARCAN," said Inspector Secondiak. "Our installations have increased significantly since last year, so we save lives that way, our EMC staff has this, our fire staff also has the police service."
However, the possible plateau does not mean that the opioid crisis is over.
"We continue to have almost two deaths per day in Alberta from opioid poisoning," said Hinshaw. – So, although the numbers look like floating, we still have a lot of work to do.