Albertans continue to die in large numbers from fentanyl use: report

Fentanyl pills are shown in an undated police handout photo.
Fentanyl pills are shown in an undated police handout photo. Handout / THE CANADIAN PRESS

A new report by Alberta Health suggests Albertans are continuing to die at an alarming rate from accidental drug poisonings related to fentanyl.

The reports suggests 74 Alberta residents died from poisoning related to fentanyl during the first six weeks of 2018, and 17 people died from accidental carfentanil poisoning.

READ MORE: Opioid-related deaths continue to soar in Alberta, up 40% over last year

The highest number of fentanyl related deaths during the first six weeks of the year happened in Calgary, with 36 people losing their lives in the region, according to the report. The number in Edmonton was 25 deaths during the same period.

The latest statistics show an increase from the same period in 2017, when 56 Albertans died from apparent fentanyl poisoning and 12 individuals died from apparent accidental carfentanil poisoning.

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Last year, there were a total of 589 Albertans who died from fentanyl related poisonings and 171 who died from carfentanil related poisonings, according to the report.

READ MORE: New government data shows Alberta carfentanil deaths increased by 330% in 2017

report released in January suggested accidental drug poisoning deaths related to carfentanil increased by 330 per cent from 2017 to 2016.

In 2016, 343 Albertans died of a fentanyl-related drug overdose, according to Alberta Health.

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