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AHS taking over Red Deer supervised consumption site and making it mobile

Local RCMP say they have noticed an increase in calls for service in the area of Red Deer's overdose prevention site. Local RCMP say they have noticed an increase in calls for service in the area of Red Deer's overdose prevention site.
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EDMONTON -

Red Deer's supervised consumption service is transitioning to a mobile site in the coming months, the Alberta government announced on Friday.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) will take over the site from Turning Point, a private group that has operated the facility since it opened in October 2018.

The transition will take three to six months and the service will remain at its current location for now. The mobile site could move based on municipal input and "the changing needs of the community," the province wrote in a release.

The government did not specify why AHS is taking over operations from Turning Point but called the transition "necessary to respond to the changing needs in Red Deer while improving the standard of service delivery at the overdose prevention site."

Turning Point said it is "surprised by this decision" and "still unsure of its rationale."

"On February 1, 2023, the management team of Turning Point Society’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) overhead a city councillor and a local MLA’s assistant at a local café openly discussing the Alberta government and the City of Red Deer’s proposed changes to the operations of the OPS, including alluding to the fact it will become a mobile site," Mitchell Danser, Turning Point's communications and community engagement coordinator, wrote in a statement to CTV News.

Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston said the way Turning Point found out is unacceptable and apologized.

"We thank Turning Point for their years of service and the lives saved over the past several years," he added.

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