Red Deer Coalition on Opioid Crisis taking next steps in safe consumption service needs assessment

After providing an initial snapshot of Red Deer’s potential need for supervised consumption services, residents will have nine chances to discuss their view this month.

The Red Deer Coalition on the Opioid Crisis, of which Turning Point is the project lead, is holding the nine community discussion events in August looking for input on potential future supervised consumption services.

Sarah Fleck, Turning Point interim operations manager, said July had the highest number of reported reversed overdoses with 90.

“We’re trying to stress that research, across the board, shows benefits to both the community and the people using the site in terms of safety and crime rates,” said Fleck. “We’re trying to present a very grounded in research perspective. Hopefully with that will come the dispelling of myths.”

The coalition will complete a needs assessment by Sept. 30. However, preliminary findings completed by the July 31 deadline and submitted to the Alberta Community Council on HIV.

“It’s one effort on the spectrum of care that will be an asset to our community,” said Fleck. “Hopefully people will come and see that it will absolutely benefit the people using it, but it will also have benefit to the community as a whole.”

The preliminary findings were limited to population data, core client surveys, readiness, the role of Alberta Health Services and contextual information.

The nine community discussion are scheduled for:

  • Aug. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Red Deer Public Library Downtown branch, 4818, 49th St.
  • Aug. 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Red Deer College, 100 College Blvd.
  • Aug. 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Collicutt Centre, 3031 30th Ave.
  • Aug. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Red Deer College
  • Aug. 16 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the downtown public library
  • Aug. 17 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Johnstone Crossing Community Health Centre, 300 Jordan Pkwy.
  • Aug. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Johnstone Crossing Community Health Centre
  • Aug. 23 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Collicutt Centre
  • Aug. 24 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the downtown public library

Meetings will will include group discussion, information about both supervised consumption sites and the needs assessment and an opportunity to ask questions.

“We thought hosting a variety of sessions and having small groups where people have a chance for a back-and-forth dialogue would be beneficial,” said Fleck.

People are asked to pre-register for a session, to do so email scsc@turningpoint-ca.org.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com


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