Pubdate: Thu, 08 Mar 2018
Source: Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2018 The Lethbridge Herald
Author: Tim Kalinowski
Page: A1


One of the most desired outcomes of opening the ARCHES Supervised
Consumption Site in Lethbridge is a reduction in the number of
incidents of public drug use and disposal of drugdebris in the
downtown core.

While it is too early to say whether or not that outcome has been
achieved, Terra Plato, CEO of the Lethbridge Public Library, stated
the early signs at the Main Branch were positive.

"Like the rest of this city, the library has experienced the same
impacts downtown in terms of drug debris and that sort of thing,"
Plato said. "The general sense, the feeling around the library, is
that, yes, we have seen a positive difference since the Supervised
Consumption Site has opened. But I cannot really comment on the number
of needles, and that sort of thing. We just don't have that data yet."

Sgt. Robin Klassen of the Lethbridge Police Service downtown policing
unit also stated early indications were positive, with some apparent
decrease in public drug debris since the site opened last Wednesday.
"We who work in the downtown unit want to encourage people to go to
the Supervised Consumption Site," she said. "We want them to go there
so they can use their drugs more safely there and be protected from an
overdose, but that's also protecting the community from exposure to
those needles that are left behind. No one wants to see that in the
downtown, or in their community, so it gives drug users a safe place
to go which protects them, but at the same time also protects the 

According to the city's EMS services, they responded to 13 overdose
incidents between March 1-7, down in frequency from the dramatic spike
seen at the end of February. But City officials also stressed it was
too early to tell what effect the opening of the Supervised
Consumption Site may ultimately have on overdose reductions and EMS
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