Alberta records deadliest year for drug overdoses in 2021

Alberta recorded its deadliest year on record for drug overdoses with more than 1,700 deaths in 2021.

The province released data late Thursday showing 176 people died in both November and December bringing the yearly total to 1,758.

Not only did both months hit grim milestones – the highest single-month totals ever – but they capped off the worst year since Alberta began collecting data in 2016.

Most overdose fatalities are linked to opioids and took place in Calgary and Edmonton.

But Lethbridge had the highest rate of drug poisoning deaths in those final two months, more than doubling the provincial average.

The two-month total is a 33 per cent increase compared to the same time period in 2020.

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