The safe consumption site of the Newo-Yotina Friendship Center is now open seven days a week.
The shift from a Monday to Friday format officially started on Saturday. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until March.
Public holidays have no impact on the new hours, with the exception of Christmas Day.
Michael Parker, executive director of the center, said they always knew his services were needed beyond five days a week.
“In an ideal world, we would be open 24/7, or more likely, probably 9 am to 9 pm each day,” Parker said.
On Sunday afternoon, the center saw six people use its services during the opening weekend.
Parker added that it is important to provide a safe, warm and clean area with an on-site paramedic in the event of an adverse reaction.
“We reduce the damage done to the individual, which also helps reduce the damage in the community,” Parker said.
Statistics from the Regina Police Department show a growing number of apparent overdose deaths in the city.
From January to October of this year, police witnessed 118 apparent overdose deaths, an increase from 2020 which saw 92 overdose deaths in the entire year.
Police said it was important for drug addicts to always have Narcan on them.
“A lot of times they don’t have anyone with them and they overdose and no matter what the effect, no one is going to be there to help them,” Srgt said. Donna Wall speaking to the media on December 3.
RPS said the seriousness of the problem is a public safety issue and the whole community needs to do more to combat it.