Calgary police support province’s move towards safe consumption sites

published on November 4, 2016 by Lucie Edwardson in Metro News

Calgary police said they will act as support to the services offering the safe consumption sites

The Calgary Police Service is putting their support firmly behind the province’s decision to explore the use of supervised safe consumption sites to combat the ever-growing opioid problem in Alberta.

Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said CPS will act as a supporter as the sites are set up. He said it will be one service in what he hopes is a multi-faceted approach in dealing with the issue.

“The sites that are proposed are not just safe consumption sites, they’re more than that,” he said. “They’ll hopefully going to provide wrap-around services to deal with the person’s addictions.”

Dr. Thomas Kerr, co-director of the Addiction and Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS said there are a few things people need to know about safe injection and consumption sites.

Kerr said the sites reduce public disorder by bringing people indoors and out of public spaces when consuming as well as significantly reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission through things like syringe sharing, and they provide emergency response.

“Those things aren’t contingent on having a whole bunch of other services around,” he said.

Kerr said however, that it’s obviously better when there’s a full contingent of supports available through the sites.

“We know that supervised injecting sites are excellent vehicles for connecting people to other forms of care such as addiction treatment,” he said. “The point is clear: if you don’t have those services then you have nowhere to refer people to. “

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