Calgary Drop-In Centre receives $4M in funding to expand detox and recovery services
The provincial government has committed more than $4 million to help the Calgary Drop-In Centre and Albertans looking to beat addiction.
Fifteen medical detox and 20 pre-treatment beds will be created at the centre, which can support up to 1,000 Calgarians each year.
They'll help Albertans struggling with addiction to "safely withdraw from drugs or alcohol under medical supervision," explained a Wednesday news release.
Overdose teams, meanwhile, will work with local organizations to respond to overdoses both at the Drop-In Centre and in the community.
The teams will triage and treat patients in the centre soon, but there is no timeline for the mobile aspect of the rollout.
"People struggling with mental health and addiction deserve compassion and support, and at the Drop-In Centre, they receive both," said Sandra Clarkson, the centre's executive director.
"We’re pleased to work with Alberta’s government to deliver critical services to those in need and help more vulnerable people in our communities pursue recovery from addiction."
Nicholas Milliken, Alberta’s minister of mental health and addiction, says the impact of the funding will be 'life-saving and life-changing' for many Albertans."
The funding is the latest provincial commitment to fighting addiction with a "recovery-oriented model of care," according to Milliken.
But while the UCP government repeatedly stresses the importance of treatment, some harm-reduction advocates call the laser-focused intent a missed opportunity.
"Recovery is just one step, and we're not really talking about the other parts," said Kat Hedges with the Alberta Alliance Who Educates and Advocates Responsibly.
"What about basic access to housing, food and job opportunities? I want to see where those pieces are."
Advocates say they're disappointed Wednesday's announcement didn't include more information about the Sheldon Chumir supervised consumption site, which was announced to be closed almost two years ago.
The province has yet to shutter or replace the service.
"The (Drop-In Centre) would be a great option to have a safe consumption site, and I think that's step No. 1," Hedges said.