$124 million in new funding to expand Alberta’s response to addiction crisis

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$124 million in new funding to expand Alberta’s response to addiction crisis

by ahnationtalk on October 3, 202229 Views

New investments will dramatically increase access to addiction services and supports where the need is greatest – our two largest cities.

More than $124 million over two years towards Alberta’s recovery-oriented system of care will focus on increasing access to addiction and mental health services in Edmonton and Calgary.

“Alberta is leading the country in providing recovery-oriented addiction and mental health care. The historic investments announced today reflect our unwavering belief that if you support people in their pursuit of recovery that positive changes are not only possible but can be expected.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“While every life lost to addiction is one too many, the steady decline in opioid deaths in Alberta is a positive sign and we are optimistic it will continue. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to make it as easy as possible for Albertans to pursue recovery from addiction. By increasing and expanding addiction services in Edmonton and Calgary, we will be providing more life-saving services while building safer and healthier communities.”

Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

“Today’s announcement shows that when there is collaboration between different orders of government, everyone benefits. We welcome this funding as it will make a difference in the lives of many Edmontonians struggling with houselessness, the drug poisoning crisis, mental health issues, poverty and intergenerational trauma.”

Amarjeet Sohi, mayor, City of Edmonton

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our provincial partners are listening and responding to the needs of Calgarians, our communities, and businesses. These investments, together with those The City is making through our mental health and addictions strategy, will change how people in crisis can be supported towards wellness with the right services at the right time.”

Jyoti Gondek, mayor, City of Calgary

While the addiction crisis has impacted every community in Alberta, social disorder and public safety are growing concerns in Edmonton and Calgary. With $124 million in new funding over two years, we are increasing treatment spaces, integrating and expanding services, and building a more robust recovery-oriented system of care in Alberta.

New funding will support:

  • Recovery Communities – $65 million in capital and operating funding starting next year
  • Hybrid health and police hubs – $28 million in capital and operating funding over two years, starting this year
  • Therapeutic Living Units in provincial correctional facilities – $12 million in capital and operating funding starting next year
  • Medical detox – $11 million in capital and operating funding starting next year
  • Harm reduction and recovery outreach teams – $8 million in operating funding over two years, starting this year

We are committing to building new recovery communities in Edmonton and Calgary to offer long-term holistic treatment to Albertans struggling with addiction. Residents will be able to access medical detox, opioid agonist medications and therapeutic services, as well as programs that offer skills development, relationship building, and employment, financial and housing supports.

We are also increasing access to addiction treatment offered through police services with the creation of new hybrid health and police hubs, in partnership with the City of Edmonton and Calgary, and the expansion of therapeutic living units to all provincial correctional centres. By strengthening harm reduction and recovery outreach teams in Edmonton and Calgary, we can better connect people with overdose prevention supports and other essential health services.

Alberta spends more than $1 billion annually on addiction and mental health care and supports, including prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. This includes adding more than 8,000 new publicly funded treatment spaceseliminating daily user fees for residential addiction treatment; launching the Digital Overdose Response System (DORS) app; expanding opioid agonist treatment; and fully covering the cost of the injectable opioid treatment drug Sublocade.

Quick facts

  • Of the $124 million announced today, $70 million is capital funding and $54 million is operating funding. Operating funding in 2023/24 totals $44 million, and will be ongoing for years to come.
  • There are four recovery communities currently under development in the province: one in Red Deer, Lethbridge, Gunn, and on the Blood Tribe First Nation.
  • Albertans struggling with opioid addiction can contact the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP) by calling 1-844-383-7688, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. VODP provides same-day access to addiction medicine specialists. There is no wait-list.
  • The DORS app is available provincewide. Download the app on the Apple and Google app stores or visit DORSApp.ca for more information.
  • For additional support, information and referral to mental health and addiction services, call Alberta 211.

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