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Supervised drug consumption site set to open at Calgary’s Sheldon Chumir Centre
Published Friday, January 12, 2018 7:20AM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 12, 2018 6:33PM MST
The Province’s first permanent, supervised consumption services site at the Sheldon Chumir Centre in the city’s Beltline is ready to go and will be soon be open to the public.
A temporary site was set up in a trailer in the parking lot at the SMCHC at the end of October and about 2500 visits have been logged since it opened.
“Lots of people coming through the door and lots of people coming back, which really tells us that we’re giving non-judgmental, inclusive, welcoming services and services that people want and need and are coming to access,” said Claire O’Gorman, Program Coordinator with Safeworks.
The permanent site, inside the building, is now complete and will have areas for clients to safely consume drugs in a supervised environment.
Associate Health Minister, Brandy Payne, gave the media a tour of the new site on Friday afternoon.
Officials say they are hoping to transition from the temporary site to the permanent site within the next week.
“We’re here permanently and we’re really excited to be offering this service inside the building. It’s a beautiful new space, we’re really excited to be in this facility here and I think it really communicates to our clients that we value them and we take pride in the services that we provide for them,” said O’Gorman.
Experts say that evidence shows the sites save lives, reduce the transmission of infections and build safer communities and that the service is a significant step in ending the opioid crisis in the province.
Alberta saw more than 400 fentanyl-related deaths between January and September of last year.
Calgary has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the province and staff at the temporary site responded to 55 overdoses in the first two months of operation.
Another site is being set up in Edmonton and is expected to open in the spring.
For more information on supervised consumption services, click HERE or scroll the document below.