Preimer Jason Kenney says the Alberta government will fund 4,000 addiction treatment beds and spaces, outpatient services and medically assisted detox spaces across the province.

Kenney made the announcement Wednesday (Sept. 11) at the Recovery Capital Conference in Calgary.

He says more publicly-funded treatment spaces will make it easier and faster to get important addiction and mental health care in Alberta.

“We promised Albertans we’d help eliminate the barriers to recovery for every family,” says Kenney. “More publicly funded treatment spaces will make it easier and faster to get important addiction and mental health care. These funds are part of our commitment to providing $140 million to improve addiction and mental health care and for opioid response.”

Another announcement is expected in November regarding which communities will receive these new treatment and detox spaces.

Kenney told the conference he feels the Alberta government in the past has failed “adequately” to fund the treatment and recovery spaces that Alberta families need. “Harm reduction alone is not the answer. “Our government will not stand idly by, while this public health and safety crisis spirals out of control in our communities.”

The previous NDP government had pledged $11.2 million for a supportive housing facility in Lethbridge to help people with addictions, however the new UCP government has put that on hold pending a provincial review.

Premier Kenney says his government will also upgrade existing social detox beds to medically supported detox beds.

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions says this funding commitment is the first step towards making sure anyone facing addiction and mental health challenges can get well, improve their quality of life and find their path to long-term recovery.