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Blood Reserve opens overdose prevention site in response to opioid crisis
The safe consumption site now set up on the Kainai First Nation provides a place where people can consume substances in a safe environment while under medical supervision.
Published Friday, March 9, 2018 4:16PM MST
Health officials say that a specialized unit aimed at preventing overdose deaths is now open for business on the Kainai First Nation near Lethbridge.
The trailer, which saw service as a temporary safe consumption site at Calgary’s Sheldon Chumir Centre in 2017, has now been set up in Stand Off.
People will now be able to use the site, between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. daily to consume their own substances in a medically supervised environment.
Those same personnel will also intervene if they witness anyone at the facility falling victim to an overdose.
Brandy Payne, Alberta’s associate Minister of Health, says the unit is all about saving lives.
“The opioid crisis is hitting this community hard and my heart goes out to individuals and families grieving the loss of loved ones. We are doing all we can to save lives and prevent more overdoses. We are working closely with Kainai First Nation to provide additional emergency services for people in Stand Off and the surrounding communities,” she said in a release.
On March 2, the Kainai First Nation declared a local state of emergency in regards to a high number of overdoses from fentanyl and opioids on the reserve.
The trailer is equipped with four drug consumption booths and can accommodate seven people at a time.
Officials are also providing over 300 naxolone kits as well as AHS addiction and mental health staff to provide support and training.
Opioid dependency treatment continues to be offered at the AHS clinic in Cardston, 30 km south of Stand Off.