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Lethbridge police play key role in addiction treatment

Posted on 23 March 2022 by Prairie Post

Police officers in Lethbridge and on the Blood Tribe will now be able to offer immediate access to addiction treatment upon an individual’s arrest.  

Alberta’s government continues to support the innovative approach of offering immediate access to addiction treatment upon an individual’s arrest. Through a partnership with Alberta’s Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP) anyone arrested in Lethbridge and on the Blood Tribe will have the option of immediately consulting with an addiction medicine physician. 

The Lethbridge Police Service will receive funding from Alberta’s government to hire two paramedics to further support this initiative. 

“Albertans have yet another opportunity to choose treatment and recovery over a life in addiction. People who commit a crime must still be held accountable for their actions, but we can also treat addiction as a health-care issue at the same time. The recovery-oriented system of care we’re building is about ensuring Albertans across multiple systems have access to evidence-based treatment options when and where they need them,” explained Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“The illness of addiction has touched many people in our community. Our government continues to make investments in Lethbridge to ensure that treatment is available and that recovery is a real and attainable goal,” added Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East.

“We’re thrilled to see this collaborative approach come to our city to support the vulnerable members of our community who struggle with opioid addiction. This is a tangible way to help transition folks who want help onto the recovery path and hopefully onto a better future,” said Blaine Hyggen, mayor, City of Lethbridge.

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