STANDOFF - There's a new resource for those living on the Blood Tribe Reserve, to help cope with the recent spike in drug overdoses.
With help from the provincial government, an ATCO Trailer has been brought in, and will be open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. It contains four illicit-drug consumption booths and can accommodate seven people at one time.
Anyone can go to the site to use their own substances under the medical supervision of staff, who can intervene if they see an overdose occurring.
"The opioid crisis is hitting this community hard, and my heart goes out to individuals and families grieving the loss of loved ones," says Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne. "We are doing all we can to save lives and prevent more overdoses."
The province is also giving ARCHES $200,000 to operate the site.
Blood Tribe Chief Roy Fox declared a state of emergency on the reserve Mar. 2, after the local Health Department reported more than 150 emergency calls and 30 overdoses occurred in just seven days. At least one person died.
There were also concerns that the local supply of naloxone had been depleted. Since then, more than 300 naloxone kits have been sent to the reserve, along with addictions and mental health staff.
The trailer was previously used as a temporary consumption site in Calgary, until a permanent space opened. The Associate Health Minister was then able to get federal approval to send it to Standoff.
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