Government response to opioid crisis falls short: Swann

Calgary, AB (February 7, 2017): Alberta Liberal Leader, Dr. David Swann, says the NDP government’s response to the opioid crisis falls short of what is necessary, and renews his call for more information and coordinated action.

“Government information and action continue to be inadequate despite these new measures,” says Swann. “We are lacking timely information and are dealing with this in a piecemeal fashion when what is needed is a coordinated and comprehensive approach.”

Swann has been pressuring the government to release more data surrounding the overall impact of this crisis since last fall, when he called on the province to declare a public health state of emergency.

“Quarterly reporting on deaths resulting from overdoses is not sufficient,” says Swann. “We need a comprehensive look at the financial and human costs of the current approach on our emergency, medical, social and justice systems.”

While Swann applauds the government’s willingness to enhance treatment options in the critical stages of opioid abuse, he stresses more government leadership is required to improve communication and coordinate action.

“The NDP government has not put enough priority or urgency on this issue,” says Swann. “In addition to naloxone, it must ensure greater cooperation, more information sharing, and a better understanding of what is and what is not working.”