As part of our efforts to address the opioid crisis, HIV Community Link is the co-chair of the Medicine Hat Coalition on Supervised Consumption (MHSC). This is a multi-stakeholder group providing advisory support to the development of supervised consumption services in Medicine Hat.
The Coalition began in 2017, after the exponential increase in overdoses and overdose deaths in Alberta and across Canada. The MHCSC includes representatives from nine organizations including Alberta Health Services, the City of Medicine Hat, Medicine Hat Police Service, Medicine Hat College, the University of Calgary and numerous community-based organizations and service providers.
Did you know?
There was a 9267% increase in the number of overdose deaths in the province of Alberta between 2011 and 2017. According to Alberta Health, in 2017 there were 526 deaths by fentanyl poisoning (2018). This is more than the death rates for motor vehicle accidents and homicides combined.
In 2016-2017, Medicine Hat experienced 10 opioid-related overdose deaths, and the South Zone had the highest rate of emergency room visits related to opioids (23% higher than the provincial average).
To read Supervised Consumption: A Report to the Community of Medicine Hat, click here.
What are supervised consumption services?
Supervised consumption services, also called safe injection facilities, are an intervention that provides a safe and hygienic environment where people can use pre-obtained illicit drugs under the supervision of trained staff. They are part of a wider harm reduction strategy to reduce the negative impacts of drug use, including overdoses and death.
Read more about the work of the Calgary Coalition on Supervised Consumption at www.medicinehatscs.com