Safe Injection Sites Approved Due to Alberta’s Opioid Crisis

25 Oct Safe Injection Sites Approved Due to Alberta’s Opioid Crisis

Edmonton and Lethbridge are the first cities in Alberta to get Health Canada’s approval to open safe injection sites for opioid drug use.

Alberta Associate Health Minister Brand Payne told the press that the decision to move ahead with these safe injection sites will reduce the number of fatal drug overdoses and the spread of diseases such as HIV.

“Evidence shows supervised consumption services save lives, reduce the spread of infectious diseases, reduce drug use in public and reduce the number of needles discarded on streets and public parks,” Payne said.

Professional drug and alcohol interventionist, Andy Bhatti, says safe injection sites are a good step for the province of Alberta.

“I’ve seen the number of Albertans struggling with drug and alcohol dependence grow in 2017. With the fentanyl and the opioid and cocaine crisis in Alberta, it makes it the second worst province in Canada for drug addiction.”

Safe injection sites in Edmonton and Lethbridge will help lower the number of overdoses, but it still isn’t solving the drug addiction epidemic the province is facing. In the first three months of 2017, 122 people died in Alberta drug overdosing. That’s 51 more people than in 2016.

safe injection sites in Alberta due to it's opioid crisis

The new safe injection sites will offer health, counselling and drug-treatment services who may not have a family physician or live on the streets. However, Andy Bhatti knows how long government funded rehab and treatment can take.

“I see people waiting for ages trying to get into government funded treatment centres. If they agree to an intervention with me, I’m able to get them into a treatment centre right now, starting on their road to recovery before many others.”

According to the National Post, the four injection sites have been approved for Edmonton with three in inner-city neighbourhoods and one at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. A community organization in Lethbridge’s downtown core will be operating that city’s safe injection site.

Health Canada is also expected to make a decision about a safe injection site in Calgary by the end of October.

So far in 2017, there have been 315 reported fentanyl overdose deaths. Last year there were 586 suspected opioid deaths in the province. It’s expected for the numbers of deaths to be over last year’s total.

To combat this growing number, getting treatment and getting off the street is the way forward. Andy Bhatti works with Albertans and has for the past five years. Andy, or one of his interventionists, can be in Calgary, Alberta or any other city within 24 hours to start the intervention process.

If your loved one is facing an addiction that could end their life or if they’re ready to become sober, call Andy Bhatti today.



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