Action needed to fight Fentanyl

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If the number of people dying in car collisions skyrocketed by as much as 4,500 per cent in four years, dramatic steps would be taken to keep people alive on the roads.

This is precisely the increase in the number of people dying from Fentanyl in Alberta and not enough is being done to combat a deadly scourge wreaking havoc in Alberta.

Fentanyl is deadly, even in minute amounts. There were six Fentanyl-related deaths in Alberta in 2011, but this number skyrocketed in four years to 274 deaths in 2015. So far this year, 153 people in Alberta have died of Fentanyl overdoses. Sixty-one of those were in Calgary and Alberta Health Services statistics show six fatal Fentanyl overdoses in the area surrounding Calgary this year.

These are sobering statistics that show the need for a comprehensive plan to deal with the deadly drug.

It’s easy to say get tough on Fentanyl, or any other drug.

Getting the Fentanyl crisis under control involves going after both the supply and demand side of the issue.

Resources need to be there for police officers targeting those peddling this deadly drug. It’s not just about having funding and personnel in place, it’s also about having legal and regulatory frameworks to give police the tools they need to keep fentanyl, and any other drug, off the streets.

For example, a bill proposed by a Calgary MLA requiring a licence to possess a pill press in Alberta will become law in January, but it’s not in the Criminal Code. It’s a reasonably simple way to give police one more tool to go after dealers.

Any solution to the Fentanyl crisis must include opening more room for people to get treatment. Anyone looking for help to deal with Fentanyl addiction needs to get it immediately and can’t be left to tackle it on their own.

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