Sunday, December 3, 2023

City council supports Lethbridge Chamber policy on local drug crisis

Lethbridge City Council voting unanimously to support a new policy from the local Chamber of Commerce called “The Economics of Addiction.”

It was released about a month ago in response to several businesses and community members raising concerns over how the supervised consumption site, and the drug crisis in general, is affecting them.

Executive Officer, Cyndi Vos, compares the supports that Lethbridge is missing, to the legs of a chair, saying the current approach is very unbalanced with only the supervised consumption leg.

“It’s clear the City of Lethbridge needs a comprehensive drug strategy that includes intox, detox, and supportive housing. There are multiple municipalities that showcase how this model works and how they are experiencing positive outcomes in their communities.”, says Vos.

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The chamber’s policy calls for funding for those missing supports she mentioned to Council.

Vos says certainly there is a role we can all play, individually and cooperatively, in preventing substance use. “Among other things, I see the Chamber’s role as that of a convener, to bring local businesses, stakeholders, and policymakers together to discuss the impact of the drug crisis in a way that influences a better outcome for all Lethbridge residents.”

Since releasing this policy in July, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce has advocated for intox, detox and supportive housing to all three levels of government, in addition to initiating contact with existing stakeholders and the business community.

(With files from the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce)

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