May 25th, 2019

Work underway on detox facility on Blood Reserve

By Mabell, Dave on December 7, 2018.

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

Work has begun on a drug-use withdrawal facility on the Blood Reserve.

Provincial government officials say a 24-hour care centre will be open early in the new year.

“The Blood Tribe has developed a community-based solution to help ease the current overdose crisis,” said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman, announcing the $2.2-million project Thursday.

“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.”

As proposed by Blood Tribe officials, the six-bed facility will provide a withdrawal management program with support from local physicians and paramedics. It’s designed to offer treatment options and to lead to continuing treatment with the Kainai Transition Centre Society.

“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 Chief Roy Fox.

He expressed thanks for their ongoing involvement and for “providing additional resources towards the medical treatment centre that our health board, department and council have initiated.”

A recent protocol agreement between the provincial government and Blackfoot Confederacy nations – Piikani, Siksika and Kainai – establishes a formal process for collaboration on mutual areas of concern, including health and opioids.

The province is providing $2.2 million over two years for start-up and operational costs for the new detox program.

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