Skip to main content

More than 1,600 Albertans died from drug-poisoning deaths in 2022: provincial data

According to the latest data released by the province, 146 Albertans died from drug-poisoning deaths in December 2022, bringing the year’s total to 1,630.

Just under 1,500 of those fatalities, 92 per cent, involved opioids.

According to the Alberta Substance Use Surveillance System (ASUSS), 517 of the year's deaths were in Calgary, 627 were in Edmonton, while the other 486 were in other parts of Alberta.

The province also released data for January 2023 revealing that 111 Albertans died from drug-poisoning during the first month of the year. All but one fatality involved opioids.


The 1,630 drug-poisoning deaths in Alberta made 2022 the year with the second-highest number of drug-related deaths on record.

The year 2021 had the highest number of deaths with 1,852, meaning last year saw a 12 per cent decrease, while 2022 had 17 per cent more deaths than 2020.

There were 139 opioid-related deaths in the month of December, the highest number recorded since February's high of 171. The highest number of opioid-related deaths ever recorded in one month was 175 in December 2021.


The average number of opioid-related deaths for the month of December is 102. December 2022 came in above average and with the second highest number of deaths for that month with 139 compared to 2021's 175.

January has an average of 84 opioid-related deaths. This January was also above average and came in third highest with 110 behind 2022 and 2021.


The data shows that the highest number of drug-poisoning deaths in Alberta was amongst men between the ages of 35 to 39 with 200, followed by men 30-34 with 175 deaths.

Thirty six of the fatalities were people 19 years old or younger.


In quarter four of 2022, the majority (52 percent) of unintentional opioid-poisoning deaths in Alberta occurred inside people’s own homes. That is a five per cent increase compared to the quarter prior.

The second most common location was in public (24 per cent), defined as a non-secure location accessible to others, according to the province’s data system.

In the same quarter, the number of deaths in Edmonton in public areas was higher at 29 per cent, but down from quarter three's 33 per cent.


Based on the data from 1,006 deaths in 2022, 80 per cent of the deaths involved Fentanyl. Methamphetamine was involved in 52 per cent, while Carfentanil was found in 27 per cent.

Compared to 2019, based on 800 deaths, 65 per cent involved Fentanyl, 39 per cent involved Methamphetamine and only 7 per cent involved Carfentanil. Top Stories


OPINION Some of the key impacts AI is having on our everyday finances

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, its uses and applications grow even wider. Many people are already using tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google's Bard or Bing Chat to help them write emails, research new subjects and brainstorm business names.

Stay Connected