The Alberta Health Authority is lauding the successes of its safe consumption sites around the provinces and crediting the sites with saving hundreds of lives.

In Calgary, Safeworks opened in the Sheldon Chumir Centre in October 2017. In its first 14 months, staff have seen over 48,000 clients and has provided 330 referrals to other service providers. The 24-hour clinic permits clients to consume drugs in a safe environment where healthcare professionals and naloxone kits are present.

In the first six months of 2018, more than 2,000 Canadians died as a result of a suspected opioid overdose and Alberta Health Services officials say the disturbing trend has not slowed.

“We know that there is fentanyl, there is carfentanil in the drug supply,” said Dr. Nick Etches, Alberta Health Services’ medical officer of health for the Calgary zone. “We know that the way those drugs are produced on the illegal market, there is no quality control and that is concerning.”

In addition to Calgary, Alberta cities with supervised consumption sites include Edmonton, Lethbridge and Red Deer.

With files from CTV’s Brad MacLeod