Canada is facing a national opioid overdose crisis that continues to leave communities and families in devastation. Since identifying the crisis in 2016, our Nation has reported a total of 26,690 apparent opioid toxicity deaths between January 2016 and September 2021 (Government of Canada, 2022), surpassing the daily average of Canadians killed in motor vehicle collisions (Government of Canada, 2018). On a provincial level, Alberta reported 2021 as being its deadliest year on record with a staggering 1,758 overdose fatalities (CTV, 2022).
Our mandate is clear: to keep community members alive.
We are taking action to eliminate opioid overdoses and related fatalities within Red Deer and Central Alberta by advocating greater public awareness and delivering comprehensive, compassion-driven programming and services.
Through continued collaboration with all levels of government, our partners, stakeholders, and people with lived and living experiences, we are able to maintain a detailed understanding of the harms and substances involved in this crisis, adapting our service delivery to match the ever-evolving needs of our community. From the delivery of free overdose response training and tools to offering a safe, non-judgemental space for community members to use pre-obtained drugs, Turning Point is committed to building a safer community for all.
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Turning Point is in charge of operating Central Alberta’s temporary Overdose Prevention Site (OPS), a hygienic space where individuals can orally consume, snort or inject pre-obtained drugs in a hygienic environment under the supervision of trained staff. The site also offers staff low threshold access to basic health care and harm reduction education, as well as referrals to Turning Point’s programs and community health and social services.
The OPS was initially set up on October 1, 2018, as a temporary health service intended to quickly respond to Red Deer’s increased overdose fatalities. The site has since had a total of 116,358 visits and 3,553 overdoses reversed in its first three years of operation (October 1, 2018 – October 1, 2021) with zero on-site fatalities.
Overdose Prevention Support and Education Program
This program focuses on overdose prevention and response by providing education and support to people who use opioids and other drugs. The program also includes Naloxone education and distribution as well as post reversal debriefing
The program utilizes Registered Nurses and Outreach Workers to provide education to community groups, health professionals, the general public and any other groups who are interested. The training provided includes current drug trends, overdose prevention, identification of an overdose, overdose response including naloxone and post naloxone care.
If you would like to receive training and a naloxone kit please come into Turning Point during regular office hours: Monday to Friday, 9:15 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm-4:30 pm.