Arches:
To what extent do you believe harm reduction strategies (such as needle distribution, supervised consumption services, naloxone kit distribution, etc.) are an effective intervention for people who use drugs?

A

 

Burke

Answer

The City needs to continue advocating for Harm Reduction strategies. We need to advocate for safe injection sites, a medical detox centre, and support our community agencies, such as CMHA and ARCHES. These are proven to be effective intervention for people who use drugs. We also need to engage with concerned citizens throughout this process for both ongoing education, as well as transparency in the impact made as they progress forward.

C

 

Burrows-Johnson

Answer

I believe that harm reduction strategies save countless lives. Supervised consumption sites result in reduced deaths due to overdose. Supervised injections are done with clean needles. Support for other health issues can also be provided.

M

 

Campbell

Answer

Based on what I've hear of the model that exists in Vancouver, it saves lives. Perhaps the next stage would be be to have a rehab centre in the same building where people can turn to specialized personnel.

J

 

Carlson

Answer

These are all parts of an effective strategy. Safe injection sites (SIS) have been shown to help connect at risk users with health care resources to help deal with withdrawal and detox, thereby protecting and decreasing drug users. Supervised consumption sites also keep public areas more clean and free of needles, and help stop the spread of accidental exposure and disease. Providing clean needles and monitoring the use of illicit substances significantly reduces overdose and infection which keeps your community healthier and it frees up EMS services, saving tax dollars.

J

 

Coffman

Answer

The goal of harm reduction is ‘to save a life.’ I believe that the strategies you identify are an effective intervention for people who use drugs, as they reduce the chance of contracting HIV or other serious diseases, and lower the risk of an overdose death. The greatest benefit, though, simply comes from the contact that occurs between the user and staff (the “network”), which can result in additional supports - medical care, housing, addiction counseling, et cetera – being provided if requested. Ultimately, these first strategies are aimed at saving lives and I support that goal.

B

 

Crowson

Answer

I must rely on and follow the advice of experts in this field with regards to the effectiveness of these strategies and based on what I’ve heard and read from professionals involved in this area, these are important strategies for providing necessary services to our residents.

C

 

Germshied

Answer

I think that supervised consumption sites and lowering the risk of health care costs with clean distribution can be effective. However, if the proper infrastructure is not used with proper education, and support people working these tools they will be turned into a way for people to easier support their addictions instead of gaining support for rehabilitation. I personally would not hand out the needles but I would sit and give care to the poor and afflicted hearts of those beautiful people, and probably cry myself to sleep knowing the heavy burden they carry.

Z

 

Gibb

Answer

I am in support of the decision to move forward with a supervised consumption site. We have a very high rate of drug related deaths, compared to other regions and need to combat this. We need to keep drug users off the streets, out of our yards and playgrounds. This is about harm reduction, and it is what the heads of our emergency services are calling for so we must listen. The selected location is centrally located, within 1.5 kilometres of the majority of overdose calls, and away from residential neighborhoods and buildings. This is an important tool to help drug users get clean, supervised by health care professionals. We need to implement this program before anymore fatalities occur.

B

 

Ginther

Answer

The simple answer here is that harm reduction strategies are designed to do what they state - harm reduction... the user is no doing the self injection in a clean and safe environment thus reducing the harm being dome to him/herself by using dirty needles etc.

M

 

Heavy Head

Answer

They are effective in tandem with other efforts, such as the oncoming intox and detox centres. Prevention is the first step, and that means addressing poverty and the symptoms born from poverty as well.

R

 

Hoffarth

Answer

Drugs will continue to be a problem for people and municipalities until their are major changes in our federal laws. Until then the band-aid solutions that are available must include harm reduction strategies including supervised consumption sites and the distribution of naloxone kits. It is important that we demand goals that are attainable measurable so that we can know that parts of the strategies are working as well as the things that are not effective.

B

 

Hyggen

Answer

I believe our community should have a balance between harm reduction strategies and rehabilitation/recovery opportunities. Supervised consumption services as well as needle distribution services allow community agencies (social workers/medical staff) to connect with our city's most vulnerable population. One of the most effective forms of intervention is providing connections to much needed services. Some of these services include addiction counselling, mental health counselling, and housing.

L

 

Iwaskiw

Answer

At the moment they are the most effective tools we have available to us.

R

 

Janzen

Answer

Candidate declined to answer the question.

K

 

Layton

Answer

Candidate declined to answer the question.

S

 

MacLeod

Answer

Improved harm reduction strategies are critical to a healthy and safe community. Regretfully, drug and opioid abuse is in the city. Together we must ensure that all members of the community are safe. A supervised consumption site would reduce the adverse affects that we see and hear about, such as the careless disposal of needles and overdose. If we had a central site, it would be able to work with the people who have addictions and provide options towards a drug free life.

J

 

Mauro

Answer

I don't believe they are all effective interventions. Some may work but most seem to be enabling these behaviours and that's why you see a drastic increase. Needle distribution went from 2400 per month 3 years ago to 30,000 per month today. I don't see that as intervention, I see that as contributing to the problem.

D

 

Mikuliak

Answer

I believe that such strategies can be very effective and are important, not only for our citizens who are dealing with substance addictions but also for the safety of the general public. Without supervised consumption sites, many commonly used public places (parks, streets, washrooms, alleys) in our city can become, quite suddenly, very dangerous places. Beyond that, it is my belief that supervised sites can also act as a gateway to treatment and recovery for those of our population who struggle with addiction. As our population grows, so grows the problem of illicit drug use. As a community we need to take steps to address this issue and not simply ignore it and hope it stops.

R

 

Miyashiro

Answer

Harm reduction strategies that are clearly laid out may be the only means to get your "foot in the door" to assist addicts. Public education helps those who are not addicts to understand the issue, but face-face discussions with user is imperative to get them to engage in less risky behavior.

R

 

Morrell

Answer

Harm reduction efforts need to be in place.  A provincially funded safe-injection site would not be a burden on local tax payers.  It would help reduce drug usage and overdoses from happening on our streets if people who use these drugs have a safe place to go.  It would help eliminate the dangers of finding needles in our parks or on our streets.  Drug addiction needs to be treated like the disease it is, and every effort should be made to help our residents that have issues with dealing with this disease. 

N

 

Paladino

Answer

I still fell detox/rehab centers should be the first option. I am still on the fence over these newer programs...but I'm hoping I will be shown that the strategies work. I'm also concerned about the actual location chosen for the safe consumption site. (maybe too close to entertainment establishments.)

R

 

Parker

Answer

Harm reduction strategies are key and this issue is paramount in our community. All strategies must be entertained and analyzed for effectiveness as we need to try many angles to attack this problem.

H

 

PEREVERSEFF

Answer

People who use drugs are a recognized element of all communities in general. Choices that drug users have made also come with potential consequences. I do not support "safe consumption sites" as I recognize this a "enabling" rather than addressing the critical issue(s). Naloxone kits may reduce harm and save lives if administered properly and in a timely fashion, and I encourage training and issuance of the Naloxone kits. ( I personally have received the training and have two kits readily available). Persons with drug use issues are best helped through rehabilitation/detox facilities and by professional and medical services.

J

 

Pogorzelski

Answer

People who use drugs are addicted, it's no longer a choice for them it is a way of life. We need to support these people and not blame them. Keeping them safe and out of harms way not only makes it safer for the individual, but also for our community. Without support, it's almost impossible to battle addiction. I believe harm reduction is the best policy towards helping people achieve a cleaner lifestyle while reducing the negative impact they may bring to the community.

L

 

Saloff

Answer

Harm reduction strategies are a medical health issue. I think we need to gather more info and research to look at providing a Wrap around service, each client has a Caseworker to help them navigate the system to assist with them with their choices.

J

 

Shackleford

Answer

I agree that it would be good for those people who take drugs but it DOESNT get to the crux of the problem. Homelessness, unemployment, and different types of abuse are often what lead to drug use. Getting people into affordable housing, jobs or job re-education and mental health counselling is the only answer I think.

C

 

Spearman

Answer

I support these programs. They have been shown to be effective in building trust with drug users and providing an opportunity for rehabilitation. I formed the Leaders Coalition on Opioid Abuse in November 2016, This committee of local experts and professionals meets monthly to identify possible solutions to the local crisis. The committee presented to Lethbridge city council sitting as Community Issues Committee on May 1, 2017.

J

 

Takahashi

Answer

They are not only essential but an amazing way to provide support for people. This not only keeps people safe but exposes them to the support network available.

B

 

Thurber

Answer

they aren't so much an intervention method as a life saving method. We need to protect people even when the make poor decisions. These are realities of our community and as a community we need to be moving towards zero deaths and protect all our citizens. I fundamentally believe in working towards zero homeless as a fist step towards addiction management.

S

 

Watson

Answer

I believe they are extremely helpful for drug users. I completely support the development of safe injection sites in Lethbridge, and there is a plethora of research available that supports this method of intervention.

D

 

Wiggers

Answer

Addiction is often a symptom of deep-seated mental health issues such as depression. Once depressed, it can be terribly difficult to pull oneself out. This often leads to drug and alcohol abuse to try to bring about even the most fleeting of reprieves from existence, tragically this sometimes ends in suicide. Needle distribution, supervised consumption services, Naloxone kit distribution, etc are only treating the symptoms. I believe supporting, perhaps building a treatment centre or services may actually lead to eradicating dependency from our society.

R

 

Woss

Answer

Lets use the services that are in place while at the same time expand service to get people off their addiction. Programs need to be coordinated; work in tandem. Education is key - lets get schools involved - educate our youth so we may have a wholesome society.