October 1, 2018 6:39 pm
Updated: October 1, 2018 8:21 pm

New Coalition on Opioid Use presents to Lethbridge City Council

WATCH ABOVE: The city's new Coalition on Opioid Use was presenting at city hall on Monday. The group is tasked with finding solutions to the ongoing opioid crisis, centered around four individual pillars. Malika Karim reports.

A A

Executive leaders of the Coalition on Opioid Use presented to city council on Monday, identifying their committee’s areas of focus when dealing with substance abuse in Lethbridge.

Treatment, harm reduction, enforcement, prevention and education are the four pillars the committee is focusing on.

READ MORE: Province funds opioid support for Indigenous populations in Lethbridge


Story continues below

To date, much attention has been put on harm reduction, the committee says, but now expanding the focus is necessary.

“We have so many people who are using our facility, that are very interested in moving along that spectrum and continuum into things like detox and treatment,” ARCHES Managing Director Jill Manning said.

“Unfortunately because there’s a lack of services available right now, it can be incredibly frustrating for the user, for their families, for us as service providers, because we’re not able to move them along that continuum.”

The committee is identifying these as gaps in local services and resources, using additional examples including the lack of medical detox beds, education for the larger public and provincial legislation for medical or non-law enforcement detention.

“If you look at our other provinces, so Manitoba, they have provincial legislation that allows for the lawful detention of intoxicated persons by non-police, medical professionals,” Lethbridge Police Chief Robert Davis said.

“With the lack of that in Alberta, they wind up defaulting to the justice system, or ourselves, or incarceration.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge’s Supervised Consumption Services site sees expansion completed

The committee is also looking to create and bring together a network of community groups or agencies who are doing prevention work.

Monday’s meeting was the first phase of the committee’s three-phase plan for broader consultation.

The next phase will include a two-day community feedback session on Oct. 10 and 11 at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.