Regina’s police chief is floating the idea of using vending machines to support addictions treatment for opioid users in the city.
Evan Bray discussed the idea on Thursday while doing his monthly check-in with talk show host John Gormley.
“I’m telling you: There are some out-of-the box ways people are looking at to address the opioid crisis,” Bray said, adding that he expects the crisis to make its way east from Vancouver to the prairies.
The police chief said he first learned of the vending machine idea during a trip to Vancouver earlier this week to learn how that city tackles drug addictions.
The vending machine approach would be focused on harm reduction, meaning it would work with addicts, rather than just jailing them, he said.
“(Vancouver) is close to having vending machines that will vend drugs to people that have an addiction,” Bray said.
The aim is to wean users off their addictions by treating them through a drug treatment plan, under the prescription of a doctor and with help from the vending machines.
They would receive a clean dose each time.
Bray also explained dealing with the drugs that are being brought into the city to be trafficked in the first place is just one aspect of the problem that needs to be addressed by police.
“We could use more resources on that because there are a lot of drugs coming into the city, but that’s only one part of this big problem in our community.”
Vending machines could be one way to help address addictions that often fuel crimes.