An overdose near AIDS Saskatoon on Thursday is a reminder of the need for a safe consumption site in the city, according to the organization.
A statement from executive director Jason Mercredi outlined an incident that occurred steps away from the building.
“Our staff followed their training perfectly. They called 911, they got the man into the recovery position, got the Naloxone kits, alerted staff and administered Naloxone and CPR and was able to bring him back from being dead twice,” Mercredi told Global News on Friday.
Mercredi adds there has been a staggering increase in overdoses in Saskatoon. He said a safe consumption site would mitigate costs of emergency services currently needed to respond to the incidents.
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AIDS Saskatoon was hoping to receive enough provincial funding to run the safe consumption site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It only received enough for two new case managers.
Opposition leader Ryan Meili asked the premier and minister of health about the reduced funding for the safe consumption site in on Friday, but said he didn’t receive a clear answer.
Minister Jim Reiter did mention there’s funding going towards a crystal meth treatment centre in Estevan.
“We looked at where we were at. We looked at where the demands were,” Reiter said.
“Crystal meth is a huge issue.”
Both Mercredi and Meili said treatment centres would have better success alongside a safe consumption site.
“Those beds will only work if people are still alive to get into them and preventing overdoses and preventing transmission of HIV and hepatitis C,” Meili said.
Despite the reduced provincial funding, the safe consumption site is expected to open this year. Mercredi said an opening date is expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks.