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Alberta announces $825K in funding for addictions, mental health organization in Medicine Hat

A stock photo shows an array of drugs. (Getty Images) A stock photo shows an array of drugs. (Getty Images)

A Medicine Hat organization is getting $825,000 in funding from the province in an effort to improve access to addiction treatment.

The money will go to Our Collective Journey, which helps support people in recovery from addiction and mental health challenges.

"Our goal is to build connections with people," said Our Collective Journey executive director Rick Armstrong.

"Through these connections, we are able to harness the power of shared experience, reduce potential feelings of stigma and support each other throughout recovery."

Mike Ellis, Alberta's associate minister of mental health and addictions, made the announcement Friday morning alongside Brooks-Medicine Hat MLA Michaela Frey.

“While there is no one solution to the illness of addiction, there are innovative approaches that we can expand and improve on," Ellis said.

In addition, the province announced Medicine Hat police will now be able to offer addiction treatment though Alberta's Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP) to people immediately upon their arrest.

“The Medicine Hat Police Service is pleased to partner with the provincial government to bring this important programming to our municipal jails," said Mike Worden, Medicine Hat Police Service chief.

"We look forward to helping people who come into our cells get the help they need to address their addiction. By doing so, we are building a healthier community."

The province is also expanding access of the Digital Overdose Response System (DORS) to Medicine Hat and the surrounding area.

DORS is a mobile app designed to prevent fatal overdoses among Albertans using opioids and other substances often while alone.

The app can be downloaded to a smartphone free of charge from any app store or via

"When using the app, Albertans will receive a call from the STARS emergency centre if they become unresponsive to a timer," a Friday news release explained. "If an overdose is suspected, STARS will immediately dispatch emergency medical services to the person’s location."

Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark says they appreciate the help the city is getting from the province. 

"Our residents are resilient, but it has been a tough few years and many in our community are struggling. Recovery takes time and resources, and I’m grateful these additional services are available to those who need help," Clark said.

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

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