Drug Use and Health Survey Launched in Calgary

The Calgary Coalition on Supervised Consumption (CCSC) has launched a Drug Use and Health Survey. The survey is part of the needs assessment process to inform the development of supervised consumption services in the City of Calgary. It will also provide evidence of need to support the application for an exemption to federal legislation required for implementation of services. The CCSC hopes to conduct surveys with 400 people with a history of drug use to understand their experiences and health needs.

The CCSC is co-chaired by representatives from HIV Community Link and Safeworks, an Alberta Health Services program. It is a multi-stakeholder group comprised of representatives from Alberta Health Services, the City of Calgary, the Calgary Police Service, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Homeless Foundation and other community-based organizations.

In October 2016, the province announced new measures to address the opioid overdose crisis. The new measures include funding community-based needs assessments to support community agencies working to establish supervise consumption services.

For more information about this study, or to volunteer for this study, please contact: Research Coordinator Courtney at (403) 619-8735 or at research@hivcl.org.

“Alberta experienced 363 deaths related to fentanyl overdose in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, we had 113 overdose deaths. Calgary is experiencing the highest rate of overdose in the province and an urgent response is needed. This survey will help us to understand the needs of people who use drugs, allowing for evidence-based program planning and delivery of supervised consumption services in the community. Studies on these services demonstrate benefits including fewer overdose deaths and reductions HIV and hepatitis C infection, and reductions in public drug use and discarded injection equipment,” says Leslie Hill, Executive Director of HIV Community Link and spokesperson for the CCSC, who adds that the collaboration between so many agencies and services in Calgary demonstrates the strong support for a response to the opioid crisis.

The survey is being coordinated by Dr. Katrina Milaney, Assistant Professor in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at the University of Calgary, and is expected to be complete by the end of August 2017.

Read here the answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about supervised consumption services.

Calgary Survey_Website