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A billboard at the east end of the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta, shown on April 27, 2018, warns about the dangers of fentanyl. The Alberta government has provided money to the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta to increase beds for a safe withdrawal site and to bolster its police force.

Bill Graveland/The Canadian Press

The Alberta government is giving money to the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta to add beds to its safe withdrawal site and to bolster its police force.

Up to $2.2-million per year will help expand the Bringing the Spirit Home site to 24 beds from six beds.

Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, said that will provide addiction services for an additional 1,200 people a year.

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The site provides clients medical detox services and 24-hour clinical care for 10 to 14 days.

There’s currently a waiting list to enter the facility.

About $480,000 more is also going to the Blood Tribe Police Service to hire five additional officers.

“Along with providing more access to treatment, we believe in a balanced approach to drug addiction that includes ensuring police have the ability to target criminals who prey on vulnerable Albertans by selling illicit drugs,” Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said in a news release.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

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