Last year’s numbers nearly double the previous record in 2019 of 177.
.@prairiehr's Jason Mercredi says PHR is applying for $1.3M in provincial funding from budget. Applied last year but was denied. $$$ would go towards keeping supervised consumption site open 24/7. Other requests for smaller amounts in place as well. 📸:@slavokutas#skpoli#yxepic.twitter.com/vyFToZikzY
Saskatoon police Chief Troy Cooper reflects on challenging 2020
Saskatoon police Chief Troy Cooper reflects on challenging 2020 – Dec 24, 2020
Mercredi said no one has died while consuming drugs at the site since it opened.PHR has put in two additional requests this year in case the $1.3 million is turned down — one for $900,000 and another for $300,000.Mercredi said if they receive the former, the site would be able to extend hours until midnight while the latter would simply allow them to continue operating at the same level.However any amount would allow them to look at bringing in additional programming like drug testing to determine if substances were non-fatal before being consumed.
PHR said fundraising, community support and merchandise sales continue to bring in revenue.
On March 9, the Saskatchewan NDP called on the province to make investments to combat Saskatchewan’s drug crisis.At a press conference, leader Ryan Meili asked what it would take for Premier Scott Moe to take the crisis more seriously.
Calls increase for more funding to address addiction crisis in Saskatchewan
Calls increase for more funding to address addiction crisis in Saskatchewan – Mar 10, 2021
The New Democrats are specifically looking at six different areas to combat the province’s overdose crisis:
Free naloxone kits at pharmacies across the province
Approving and funding safe consumption sites in urban centres and making remote video overdose prevention support available for people in rural communities
Guaranteeing timelines for access to mental health and addictions treatment, including dedicated mental health and addictions emergency rooms
Setting up drug courts
Study of safe prescription alternatives used in other jurisdictions and the applicability in Saskatchewan
A statement from the provincial government responding to the NDP’s calls said it invested more than $434.5 million in mental health and addictions services in 2020-21 which included $1.75 million towards harm reduction.There was an increase of more than $600,000 in harm reduction funding from the previous budget and included money for two caseworkers at PHR, the statement said.
The statement also states that new initiatives are in place this year including dedicated addiction health-care workers in Regina and Saskatoon emergency departments and that free, take-home naloxone kits are available at 45 sites in 30 communities.It also stated drug courts have been set up in Regina and Moose Jaw.
Sask. harm reductions advocates pitch more options to make drug use safer
Sask. harm reductions advocates pitch more options to make drug use safer – Mar 6, 2021
Planning to get a drug court operational in Saskatoon was underway, but was paused because of the pandemic.“We understand that addressing overdoses in Saskatchewan cannot be a one-size-fits-all strategy, and that is why we continue to collaborate with stakeholders across the province. Further initiatives are being considered as part of the budget process,” read the statement from the Ministry of Health.Regina’s supervised consumption site operator is anticipating sending in a funding request, but nothing has been formalized. It was given the green light to operate on March 5.The provincial budget is set to be delivered on April 6.