Advertisement

3 to 4 people die every day in Alberta from opioids: Calgary police chief

Click to play video 'RCMP video highlights the dangers of fentanyl and other opioids' RCMP video highlights the dangers of fentanyl and other opioids
WATCH ABOVE: Two RCMP officers share stories of their encounters with fentanyl users and how the drug poses a deadly threat to users, the public and first responders.

CALGARY – Calgary’s police chief has painted a bleak picture of efforts to fight opioid use in the city.

Roger Chaffin told a college audience that opioids such as fentanyl lead to three or four deaths in Alberta every day.

READ MORE: Fentanyl crisis: Calgary police chief says Alberta NDP’s response is lacking

He said fentanyl seizures last year were up 675 per cent over the five-year average. Chaffin also said methamphetamine use is up 273 per cent over that same five-year average.

READ MORE: Calgary addictions recovery centre gets $7M from Alberta government

The chief said the demand for drugs has resulted in skyrocketing rates of vehicle thefts and break-ins.

Calgary Police Service chief Roger Chaffin speaks during an interview with the Canadian Press in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.
Calgary Police Service chief Roger Chaffin speaks during an interview with the Canadian Press in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Chaffin says one solution would be legal consumption sites where health professionals can oversee the use of drugs and the safety of users.

Story continues below advertisement

In 2016, 343 people in Alberta died from an apparent drug overdose related to fentanyl (including 22 cases where carfentanil was involved), according to a report from Alberta Health.