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.
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.
The chief said the demand for drugs has resulted in skyrocketing rates of vehicle thefts and break-ins.
Chaffin says one solution would be legal consumption sites where health professionals can oversee the use of drugs and the safety of users.
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.