St. John Ambulance offering free response training amid worsening opioid death crisis – CBC

Free course runs until March 2024

Jul 11, 2023

St. John Ambulance is hoping a free course on how to respond to an opioid poisoning will help bring down the number of opioid-related deaths in Alberta and other parts of the country.

Alberta has one of the highest rates of opioid-related deaths in Canada, according to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Its reports show that last year, 7,328 people across Canada died from an opioid overdose, and 1,499 of those deaths were in Alberta.

The reports also show a significant increase in opioid overdoses across the country since 2016, especially in the years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic, the average number of opioid deaths per day across Canada was 10. By last year, that number had doubled.

There is a “growing need for education and resources around this crisis,” said Claire Kingston, the community engagement manager at St. John Ambulance, a charitable organization that teaches first aid.

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