City council considers next step in alcohol, drug strategy

Tackling addiction in Red Deer will be a big task, admits Kath Hoffman, co-chair of the Central Alberta Addictions Consortium.

Tackling addiction in Red Deer will be a big task, admits Kath Hoffman, co-chair of the Central Alberta Addictions Consortium.

But she points to the community’s response to homelessness as proof of what can be done when the community comes together.

Hoffman told city council on Monday night that she wants to see addiction, and strategies to deal with it, become as much a part of the local conversation as homelessness became.

To that end, a Red Deer Alcohol and Drug Strategy has been developed to provide the road map for dealing with addiction, an issue that is as complex as its effects are far reaching.

The 52-page strategy report explains the local initiative is built on four pillars: prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement practices. The approach has been adopted successfully in many European countries and other Canadian communities.

Many of the recommendations to council called on improving approaches already in place and creating better access to help and treatment and more co-ordination among agencies dealing with addiction-related issues.

Hoffman said the strategy provided a “snapshot” of the current state of affairs in the community while shining a spotlight on areas for improvement. The initiative will also provide an opportunity to provide the community with the latest research on addiction; why some drug or alcohol users become addicts and others don’t.

The community is also expected to play a big role in coming forward with recommendations to tackle addictions issues.

Among suggestions is creating a so-called “drug court,” which specializes in ways to deal with more minor drug offences by means other than jail sentences or no-drinking or drug-taking probation orders that are impractical when dealing with addicts.

Council members expressed their support for more community consultation to provide a clearer role for city hall in the strategy.

They opted to table the strategy for a month to provide time to further consider the next step.

In other council news:

lCouncil unanimously endorses an updated Kin Kanyon Concept Plan that drops a proposed spray park among other changes. The plan proposed replacing the existing spray rock with a picnic area when the rock has reached the end of its life span in the next five to 10 years.

Councillors weren’t so sure they wanted to see the end of water features in the park and asked that something similar be considered along with other options when the spray rock is removed.

lCity administration will talk to the RCMP to see if they support the opening of a collision centre in Red Deer. Successful in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat — which have municipal police forces — the centres are places to report minor accidents without tying up police officers.

RCMP’s K-Division has not been in favour of collision centres previously.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie was among the first central Alberta health professionals to receive the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020. Since then, nearly 3.4 million doses have been administered and COVID cases are falling rapidly. Photo by Alberta Health Services
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall sharply

Red Deer cases almost into the double digits after topping more than 900 only five weeks ago

(Advocate file photo.)
Red Deer city council discusses strategies to restore integrated emergency dispatching

Red Deer city councillors discussed additional ways on Tuesday to try to… Continue reading

Local developers who are doing building upgrades or new construction will face less land servicing costs and gain some flexibility. (File photo by Advocate staff)
From left: Montana First Nation councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation councillor Shannon Buffalo and Samson Cree Nation chief Vern Saddleback were present during the painting of the Maskwacis Pride crosswalk. (Contributed photo)
Being gay made him contemplate suicide: Councillor in Maskwacis opens up

Maskwacis got a bit mote colourful over the weekend. Volunteers spent Saturday… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Pornhub says it has removed all content uploaded by non-verified users. The sex website faced accusations it hosted illegal content. The company, which is owned by Montreal-based Mindgeek, says it has suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by one of its content partners or members of its Model Program. THE CANADIAN PRESS
International women’s rights advocates call on Canada to hold Pornhub to account

Jeanette Westbrook says being sexually abused as a child will haunt her… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2021 file photo, transporters Miguel Lopez, right, Noe Meza prepare to move a body of a COVID-19 victim to a morgue at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has drastically slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry talks about health care legislation he's backing in the upcoming session, in Baton Rouge, La. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty's ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and… Continue reading

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes that erupted ahead of a planned march by Jewish ultranationalists through east Jerusalem, outside Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israelis march in east Jerusalem in test for new government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists, some chanting “Death to Arabs,”… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) vies for the puck with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Vets Pietrangelo, Perry contributing for Vegas, Montreal

LAS VEGAS — Alex Pietrangelo and Corey Perry had very different free… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen stands for the national anthem prior to an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames in Montreal, Saturday, January 30, 2021. Public health experts say Quebec should wait until more people have received a second dose of COVID-19 before increasing the number of fans allowed to attend Montreal Canadiens home games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec to increase arena capacity before first home game in Habs playoff series

MONTREAL — Quebec will increase the number of people allowed to attend… Continue reading

New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Halifax regional council will consider today a new report on a proposed 24,000-seat stadium, the pivotal component of a bid to land a Canadian Football League team for the East Coast's largest city.THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Most Read