ARCHES: Efforts to Reduce Drug Debris Around Lethbridge Making an Impact

Latest statistics show needle distribution rates are down 70% and return rates are up 83% since the facility opened just over a year ago.

Reports of used needles being found around Lethbridge are down significantly in the past number of months.
 
Several initiatives were put in place to try to get a handle on what was a growing problem and concern in the community, including the needle pick-up hotline and Clean Sweep Program.
 
Executive Director at ARCHES, Stacey Bourque, says the biggest impact is people are using inside the Supervised Consumption Site and not using outside and around the community as much as they were before the facility opened.
 
Latest statistics also show needle distribution rates are down 70% and return rates are up 83% since the facility opened just over a year ago. Bourque says at the height of distribution, there were about 37,000 syringes going out the door per month and that number has steadily decreased month over month to around 7,000 to 8,000 per month, with most of those going out of town.
 
Bourque says it's taken a while to build relationships and trust but notes more and more drug users are now using the SCS.
 
According to Bourque, the Supervised Consumption Site is averaging over 670 visits per day, making it not only the most heavily used facility in North America but possibly the entire world.
 
Stacey Bourque
 

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