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The merit in ARCHES injection site? They save lives

March 6, 2019

ARCHES, an injection site, allows for people suffering from addiction to use drugs under the supervision of trained staff.

Takara Motz, the data and evaluation manager of ARCHES, says they operate in the hopes of reaching more users to get them help.

"People are dying from all modes of consumption, not just through injection, so it's important we offer options to people who use drugs to ensure they have a safe place to go," Motz said. There are many drug users who often want help, but don't know where to go to get it, she said.

While the concept of supervised consumption services has been gaining acceptance in Alberta, having sites such as ARCHES has been controversial among those who view it as enabling.

"The hope is that we're going to be able to move people along the spectrum," Motz said.

In places like Canada and Europe, safe injection sites have been shown to prevent overdose deaths, reduce the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV, and help get users into services such as drug treatment programs.