It is Overdose Awareness Day in Alberta. Turning Point Society in Red Deer will be honouring the day an event today held at the Rotary Picnic Park Shelter from 5:00PM to 8:00PM today (August 31, 2022).
Community members are gathering to participate in a free BBQ while quantities last and learn more about ‘connection’ which will be the event’s focus.
“Stigma often causes loved ones to feel isolated when grieving someone lost to an overdose,” said the agency’s Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator, Mitchell Danser.
“As this crisis continues, Albertans desperately need this opportunity to gather in memory of those they’ve lost and know they’re not alone.”
Those attending will also have the opportunity to learn overdose response training and receive Hepatitis C testing as well as engage with several local organizations.
“We hope the event will help provide everyone in attendance with a broader awareness of the services available to them in our community," Danser said. “Whether you’re someone impacted directly or indirectly by substance use or you simply want to expand your knowledge and understanding, there are services just for you."
You can also donate to support overdose prevention efforts by visiting Turning Point’s website here.
From January to June of 2022 Turning Point Society in Red Deer took the following actions:
- distributed 2,536 life-saving naloxone kits to Central Alberta community members.
- provided overdose response training to more than 440 community members.
- had 18,806 site visits to Red Deer's Overdose Prevention Site.
- served an average of 250 community members at its Overdose Prevention Site
- staff at the Overdose Prevention Site responded to and reversed 916 suspected overdoses.
According to the Alberta Substance Use Surveillance System there were 22 reported opioid deaths between January and April of 2022 and 38 reported opioid deaths between Janaury and December of 2021 in Red Deer alone.
According to the Alberta RCMP, Alberta saw a 28 per cent increase in meth-related deaths in 2021. Here are some other stats provided by the Alberta RCMP: