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Health workers say UCP government should expand supervised consumption sites

The supervised consumption site at the Sheldon M. Chumir health centre seen in this photo provided by Alberta Health Services.

CALGARY – A report has raised concerns that a large portion of methamphetamine users are frequenting supervised consumption sites in Alberta that were meant for opioid overdoses.

Frontline health workers say, if anything, that finding should convince the United Conservative government to bolster the services, not roll them back.

The report flagged complaints about the behavior of meth users around the sites.

Rebecca Saah is a Community Health Expert at the University of Calgary.

She says people should consider what would happen to their communities if the sites were to disappear.

“What are the impacts of seeing people who have overdosed in the community.”

“If you don’t support supervised consumption, you’re supporting unsupervised consumptions, and I do believe we will see more people overdosing in public, on the street, in agency bathrooms, in restaurant bathrooms, in businesses.”

The provincial government formed a panel last summer to look at how sites affect crime rates, social order, property values, and businesses, but not the benefits of harm reduction.