The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is voicing its support for a comprehensive drug strategy for the city.
Executive Officer, Cyndi Vos, says local businesses and community members have raised concerns about how the supervised consumption site, and the drug crisis in general, is affecting them.
She says the chamber’s new policy “The Economics of Addiction” encourages the provincial government to reconsider the need for a detoxification facility and supportive housing.
Vos says “right now, if you’re interested in going into detox, it’s a 42 day waiting period to get a detox bed so the likelihood of that person going out and consuming more drugs or alcohol is pretty high.”
The former NDP government had promised $11.2-million for supportive housing in Lethbridge but that funding is under review by the new UCP government.
Vos says the drug crisis is an issue that needs to be addressed by all levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal.
She also says we don’t want to look back five years from now, at an even larger crisis, with regret because there were more assertive steps that could have been taken.