A local community organization is saddened but not surprised by the recent fentanyl death rate stats from Alberta Health
Melissa Byers, HIV North’s Interim Executive Director says the dangerous opioid is being used by a mix of people, not just those on the streets.
“We are kind-of in a different world right now, we are in a world where opiate prescriptions are being heavily monitored so people are turning to street drugs because the withdrawal is so strong and so hard for people to go through. So, it is not just our street involved individuals who are dying, who are making up these stats, it’s other people as well.”
She says they are continuing to gather information and are putting together a needs assessment for a supervised consumption site in Grande Prairie.
“We are just exploring the possibilities of opening a site in Grande Prairie, we don’t know what it would look like but we are looking at different models as well. We could bring a mobile unit into Grande Prairie, it could be a fixed site, it could be integrated into HIV North services. We are not sure if there is a need yet and we are just exploring the possibilities of it.”
According to Alberta Health, Grande Prairie recorded nine deaths from suspected fentanyl overdoses in the first six months of this year.