Red Deer’s overdose prevention site will continue to function for at least another six months.
Harm reduction agency Turning Point said operation of the site has been extended to Sept. 30.
The Red Deer site, as well as supervised consumption sites in Alberta, have been waiting to find out the government’s plan for their services, which help prevent overdose deaths and assist people struggling with drug addiction.
On Thursday, a review was released by the UCP government that highlighted increases in crime, needle debris and social disorder near the sites.
“What we see is a system of chaos — chaos for addicts who desperately need help getting well, and chaos for communities around the sites,” said Associate Health Minister Jason Luan when the report was released.
The nearly 200-page report does not say whether the government should shut or move any of Alberta’s seven sites. There are four in Edmonton and one each in Calgary, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge.
Luan said decisions would be made on a city-by-city basis.
Over the coming months, the government will consider changes to supervised consumption services and other addiction treatment and recovery resources.
Red Deer’s overdose prevention site, located in an ATCO trailer at 5246 53rd Ave., has four booths for people to inject, snort or orally consume their previously-obtained drugs while being monitored by someone trained and able to provide immediate life-saving measures as needed.
Turning Point had been ready to go out to tender to turn a building at 5233 54th Ave., northwest of Superstore, into a supervised consumption site to provide more services, when the review was announced.
— with files from The Canadian Press