The Alberta government is stepping up in the fight against opioid abuse. The province has announced that $9.5 million dollars will be allocated over three years to support increased access to services and provide training for primary care providers to offer treatment, medication and care to patients and families affected by the opioid crisis.

Laura Safronick is a program councilor at the Bonnyville Indian- Metis rehabilitation centre. She says shes seen first hand the damaging effects of opioid abuse, and the funding is welcomed.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in the opioid addiction at our centre. It’s getting worse as time goes on. It’s definitely a crisis.”

Safronick says she hopes the funding makes it’s way to the treatment centres in the area.

“I’m a firm believer that treatment has to be longer for people struggling with addiction. When clients are at the stage of change, that’s when we meed to deal with the issues. When that happens, we need to be able to have this funding in place, to be able to get them further treatment.”

Safronick says if she could give any advice to the government, it would be to stop the repeating.

“We need to break the cycle of addiction, and it needs to be longer long-term facility treatment for these people struggling.”