The Alberta government says it will fund 4,000 addiction treatment beds over the next four years.
Premier Jason Kenney said at an addiction conference in Calgary on Wednesday the funds are part of the Alberta government’s commitment to provide $140 million to addiction, mental health care and opioid responses.
“The Alberta government has in the past failed adequately to fund the treatment and recovery spaces that Alberta families desperately need. Harm reduction alone is not the answer,” he said.
Kenney said outpatient services and detox spaces will also get an increase in funding — rather than budget cuts.
“This is the only area where we are making significant additional investments because we must do everything within our means to combat the terrible and deadly scourge of addiction and opioids in Alberta society,” he said.
He said the money for these beds and detox spaces will not come at the expense of supervised consumption sites, however no decision has been reached yet on whether those sites will still be supported.
“Harm reduction may have a place in the continuum of care, but it’s not enough. We need to provide a way out of the trap of addiction that destroys far too many lives,” he said.