The Notley government wants to use supervised opioid consumption sites to help fight the fentanyl problem.
The province announced Thursday that an Edmonton agency will get a $230,000 grant to look into setting up a safe site.
“By investing in harm reduction programs, government is taking action to save lives and to support people struggling with addictions to get the help they need,” said associate health minister Brandy Payne.
They will need an exemption from the federal government to set up a safe site, which has proven controversial in the past. Usually, fentanyl users inject the drug or snort pills that contain ground-up fentanyl.
“This is a complex issue, requiring an intense, multi-faceted response,” added Payne. “We are working closely with our community partners and affected families to ensure we are making the right investment.”
So far in 2016, 193 Albertans have died due to apparent drug overdoses related to fentanyl.
Another $500,000 will go to six other Alberta communities where needle exchange programs are in place to assess their need for opioid consumption sites. (bd)