Officials wait for decision on supervised drug consumption site

Officials wait for decision on supervised drug consumption site

Red Deer’s Turning Point expecting to hear final word this month

With Canada facing a national opioid crisis and Red Deer alone having had the highest fentanyl related deaths in Alberta last year, it’s sparked the interest of one particular group to open up a supervised consumption site in the City.

Turning Point Society was designated as project lead, and a Red Deer Coalition on the opioid crisis was formed to undertake a needs assessment for the consumption service in Red Deer, which was recently completed and found that the City does in fact need one.

They submitted the final report to the province at the end of September and are now waiting to hear back as to whether or not one will be approved for Red Deer.

“It went to our provincial coordinating body of all the harm reduction organizations in the province, and they’re going to roll out that data to a provincial context,” said Stacey Carmichael, executive director at Turning Point.

Carmichael said they are hoping to hear back from the province by the end of October as to whether or not they feel that Red Deer needs a supervised consumption service.

“I’m making as assumption they’ll allocate some money for us to do that work, but before we can even take that step we’re going to need to apply for federal exemption through Health Canada,” she said.

She said although they haven’t identified a particular location for the site, their data shows that Turning Point will be the organization that would operate the site.

In terms of feedback from the community, she said they’ve received lots of support.

“Lots of people support the concept for a variety of reasons, because they care about people who use drugs and they see it as a step in a continuum of addiction care, and the fact that it will save people’s lives while we wait for things like treatment and that type of thing.”

She said there are also lots of people who don’t support the service because they feel it may be enabling folks, but she believes they have the opportunity to talk about it and educate the community on the concept.

“Perhaps we might be able to garner more support from those guys,” she said, adding that it might be hard for some people to wrap their heads around.

She said she hears lots of people talking about treatment options and that people should just receive treatment.

“Well that’s not necessarily going to work for everybody,” she said.

In the meantime they will wait to see what the province has to say, and then will begin preparing to send their federal exemption application, which will include more community consultation.

“We would need to go back into the community and start talking about locations.”

She said from the previous consultations they’ve held, has provided some good information from citizens. She said Turning Point has lots of desire to talk to folks if they want to learn more or have any questions about harm reduction in general.

carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lacombeexpress/ and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/LacombeExpress?lang=en

Just Posted

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Three calves were recently shot dead in Lacombe County near Mirror. (Photo from Facebook)
Calves shot and left for dead in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP investigating three shootings

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Most Read