December 6, 2018 10:46 pm
Updated: December 8, 2018 12:39 am

Alberta government to support safe withdrawal site for Blood Tribe

WATCH: Overdose patients on the Blood Reserve will have a new option for care when they're picked up by paramedics starting in the new year. As Kyle Benning explains, a community-based solution has been created and everyone involved hopes it creates a road to recovery.

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A new safe withdrawal management site will provide substance use treatment services for people in the Blood Tribe community.

The Alberta government releasing a statement Thursday, stating that they will be providing $2.2 million over two years for startup and operational costs for the new program.

“The Blood Tribe has developed a community-based solution to help ease the current overdose crisis,” said Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman said in a release Thursday.

“Our government is proud to provide funding for this new program. We will continue to work with the Blood Tribe to ensure they have the support they need to provide treatment and care for people affected by substance use.”

READ MORE: Drug crisis on Blood Tribe sees 34 overdoses, 3 deaths in 21 days: official

Paramedics will now be able to give patients who have overdosed the option of going to the safe withdrawal management site to receive health assessment, interventions, and access to local resources and programs.

WATCH: Blood Reserve sees 34 overdoses and 3 deaths in 21 days: official


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“Premier Notley, Minister Hoffman and the Alberta Cabinet have been sincerely appreciative and helpful in combating the opioid crisis that has plagued our people over the last few years,” said Blood Tribe Chief Roy Fox in a release. “We thank them for their continued involvement and providing additional resources towards the medical treatment centre that our Health Board, Department and Council have initiated.

“Many other departments, tribal members and others have worked collaboratively towards ending this drug problem and we thank them for their courage and commitment. May our Creator help those of our people who are addicted to overcome their problems and seek the help that is being offered by trained people and especially our spiritual leaders.”

Patients will also have the option of attending the Kainai Transition Society to support recovery and transition back into the community.

READ MORE: Blood Tribe issues warning about carfentanil after learning of recent overdoses

The safe withdrawal management site will include:

  • Twenty-four-hour clinical care;
  • A six-bed safe withdrawal management program with medical support from paramedics and local physicians;
  • Treatment options to support recovery; and
  • An option to move to the Kainai Transition Centre Society within 10 to 14 days to support recovery and transition back to the community.

Construction and renovations to get the site open are currently underway, with the opening date slated for early 2019.

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