Safe Consumption Report

Summary

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The Government of Alberta recently cut provincial funding towards ARCHES, a charity-run safe injection site located in Lethbridge. This decision was largely influenced from an audit which found financial mismanagement and poor distribution strategies. The consumption site will be reduced to low-level mobile consumption, a significant reduction in capacity. This raises significant public health concerns as these users end up displaced throughout the city. This situation is improving with the help of proactive patrols, but supporting harm reduction while maintaining the safety of the community will likely continue to remain as a difficult issue. Safe injection sites are a compassion-based approach to reducing overdose deaths, transmission of diseases, and public substance use. Research has shown that these sites help are a cost-effective method of intervention.

By Christian Ladores and the Healthy Cities Team

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