Work un­der­way on detox fa­cil­ity on Blood Re­serve

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Dave Ma­bell Fol­low @DMa­bel­lHer­ald on Twit­ter

Work has be­gun on a drug-use with­drawal fa­cil­ity on the Blood Re­serve.

Pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials say a 24-hour care cen­tre will be open early in the new year.

“The Blood Tribe has de­vel­oped a com­mu­nity-based so­lu­tion to help ease the cur­rent over­dose cri­sis,” said Health Min­is­ter Sarah Hoff­man, an­nounc­ing the $2.2-mil­lion project Thurs­day.

“We will con­tinue to work with the Blood Tribe to en­sure they have the sup­port they need to pro­vide treat­ment and care for peo­ple af­fected by sub­stance use.”

As pro­posed by Blood Tribe of­fi­cials, the six-bed fa­cil­ity will pro­vide a with­drawal man­age­ment pro­gram with sup­port from lo­cal physi­cians and paramedics. It’s de­signed to of­fer treat­ment op­tions and to lead to con­tin­u­ing treat­ment with the Kainai Tran­si­tion Cen­tre So­ci­ety.

“Premier Not­ley, Min­is­ter Hoff­man and the Al­berta cab­i­net have been sin­cerely ap­pre­cia­tive and help­ful in com­bat­ing the opi­oid cri­sis that has plagued our peo­ple over the last few years,” said Chief Roy Fox.

He ex­pressed thanks for their on­go­ing in­volve­ment and for “pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional re­sources to­wards the med­i­cal treat­ment cen­tre that our health board, de­part­ment and coun­cil have ini­ti­ated.”

A re­cent pro­to­col agree­ment be­tween the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and Black­foot Con­fed­er­acy na­tions — Pi­ikani, Sik­sika and Kainai — es­tab­lishes a for­mal process for col­lab­o­ra­tion on mu­tual ar­eas of con­cern, in­clud­ing health and opi­oids.

The prov­ince is pro­vid­ing $2.2 mil­lion over two years for start-up and op­er­a­tional costs for the new detox pro­gram.

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