In The News: New detox centre the first of its kind for an Alberta First Nation

Much-needed facility will give users a short-term space for safe withdrawal

The new detox facility and health centre on the Blood Tribe is the First Nation’s latest response to the opioid crisis. (Reid Southwick/CBC)

Health officials are hoping a new detox and treatment facility — the first of its kind for an Alberta First Nation — will help slow the pace of overdose deaths on the Blood Tribe.

A ribbon-cutting for the new 12-bed, 24-hour facility was held Monday.

In the past two weeks, there have been 22 overdoses — one of them fatal — on the First Nation with a population of about 12,000. Last year there were 335 overdoses.

Jacen Abery, head of emergency services, said his staff would normally take overdosing patients to an off-reserve emergency room.

Jacen Abery, head of emergency services, cuts the ribbon to open the new safe withdrawal facility on the…

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