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The federal government will spend more than $1 million to fight opioid poisoning in Edmonton.

Carolyn Bennett, minister of mental health and addictions and Edmonton MP and Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault have announced funding for an outreach program to provide overdose response training and trauma support at a community level.

The program, based at the city’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, will also direct at-risk people to resources on treatment and recovery.

In a release, the government says the program will support those disproportionately affected by substance use.

“This tragic loss of life is taking a heavy toll on friends, families, and communities in Alberta and across the country,” Bennett said in a release. “Today’s investment will help people who use substances in Edmonton receive the culturally safe and trauma informed health services and supports they need.”

Last year, 1,618 people died due to opioid overdose-related deaths in Alberta, the deadliest year on record. In 2020, drug poisoning killed 456 Edmontonians.

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