Supervised Consumption Services One Year

On February 28, 2019, we celebrated one year of Supervised Consumption Services being open in Lethbridge. Since opening, there have been approximately 167,000 uses at our facility and we have responded to 1,625 medical emergencies.

ARCHES has provided over 8,000 referrals to health and social services throughout our community, including detox, treatment, primary health care and mental health support services. We have provided over 38,000 wrap around services on site including addiction counselling, cultural supports and activities, housing supports, Indigenous Recovery Coaching, Take Home Naloxone Kits and nursing services that include wound care, sexually transmitted infection and blood borne pathogen testing and treatment, Opioid Agonist Therapy and safer sex education.

To celebrate our success and challenges over past year, we asked our clients what ARCHES and Supervised Consumption Services mean to them and here is what they had to say.

ARCHES Clinic Now Open

Our clinic has re-opened! A Registered Nurse is able to provide the following services:

  • STI testing
  • Blood Borne Pathogen testing (HIV, Hepatitis A, B, and C)
  • Safer sex education
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Vein care
  • Wound care
  • Basic lab work
  • Referrals to other health care practitioners
  • Referrals to Methadone and Suboxone programs

Hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30AM-12:00PM and from 1:00PM to 4:30PM

The clinic can be accessed through the North doors at 1016 1 Ave South

Our Registered Nurse can also be reached at 403-328-8186 ext. 5710

New Website

Spring For Life Campaign 2016!!

This March, ARCHES (formerly Lethbridge HIV Connection) Society will welcome spring by hosting its annual Gerbera Daisy SPRING FOR LIFE fundraising campaign, and we are looking for your support to ensure its success.
Spring for Life is one of our major fundraisers for the year, and all proceeds support the programs of ARCHES, which provides services to those living with HIV/AIDS in Southwestern Alberta. In order to make the campaign successful, we rely on the generosity of people and businesses like yours.
The Spring for Life campaign features 5 brightly coloured mini Gerbera daisies for the low price of $5.00 a bouquet. The daisies can be pre-ordered anytime by emailing [email protected] or by calling the office at 403-328-8186 between 9 am and 4 pm Monday to Thursday. The daisies will be available for delivery (on orders of 10 bouquets or more) on March 17th and 18th or you can pick them up at ARCHES at 1206 – 6 Ave S. between 9:00 and 4:00 on March 16th to 18th.
This is a great opportunity to brighten your home or office or someone’s day with the beauty of spring– all while supporting a local cause!
Spring for Life and make a difference in your community!

World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil and Wear it Red Movie Night

Join us to celebrate World AIDS Day Tuesday, December 1, 2015. Candlelight Vigil and Wear it Red Movie Night featuring the Normal Heart at the Movie Mill. Candlelight Vigil will be held at the park beside the Movie Mill at 7:00pm. Please meet in front of the Movie Mill and we will walk over for the vigil. Movie to follow.

2015 Condom Couture Fashion Fundraiser!!

Our annual Condom Couture Fashion Fundraiser is coming up on November 27, 2015!!

ARCHES (formerly Lethbridge HIV Connection) in partnership with Club Didi and the Lethbridge College Fashion Design and Sustainability Program are preparing for their second annual Condom Couture Fashion Show fundraising event. We are excited to announce that we will be holding this years show at the Italian Canadian Club on November 27, 2015. Doors open at 7:00pm and the show starts at 8:00pm. The event is a lighthearted approach to educating our community about the very serious issues of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Take into consideration these facts:

  • The number of people living with HIV in Canada is increasing
  • 25% of people living with HIV are unaware that they are HIV positive
  • Every 3 hours a person in Canada is infected with HIV

Simply practicing safe sex by using a condom every time will drastically decrease transmission rates of HIV and other STIs. ARCHES works to educate people and the Condom Couture Fashion Show; featuring outfits containing condoms as a design material and elements helps make this point.

The event is attended by people that want to enjoy a fun evening of fashion and entertainment in support of ARCHES and the important programming that we do in our community.

We are very excited about this great event that we hope will successfully assist us in raising funds to support our programming, spread awareness about HIV and help educate the public about prevention. Your support is truly appreciated and you are welcome to contact us with any questions about the event at [email protected].

Take Home Naloxone Program!!

Melissa Villeneuve

Lethbridge Herald

[email protected]

New ammunition in the fight against opioid overdoses will soon arrive in Lethbridge.

The Lethbridge HIV Connection has been chosen as one of eight agencies in the province to distribute take-home naloxone kits, a drug which can be injected to counter the effects of opioids such as fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, or heroin.

The kits are expected to arrive in July. A nurse practitioner will provide education, prescribe and dispense the kits to those who currently use, or have a history of using, opiates.

“We have been experiencing a dramatic rise in accidental overdose deaths in all of Alberta, but specifically in southern Alberta over the last few months,” said Stacey Bourque, Executive Director of Lethbridge HIV Connection.

“The province recognized numbers are climbing, and that they needed to respond to the situation. At this point in time, overdose deaths are now higher than car accident deaths in the province.”

Each kit contains two doses of naloxone, syringes, alcohol swabs, gloves, a rescue breathing mask, and instructions.

The kits are free of charge to clients. Family members may attend the clinic to receive training in prevention and response.

Bourque said the top opioids used in Lethbridge are fentanyl, or the illegally-produced “Oxy 80,” heroin, and prescription drugs.

Fentanyl has been linked to more than 100 deaths in Alberta last year, including at least 10 on the Blood Tribe reserve. Usually prescribed for post-surgical or severe chronic pain, the drug is known to slow breathing. In an overdose, breathing can slow to one breath every 10 seconds, until it stops completely.

Although the naloxone reverses the opioid effect, Bourque said they still encourage users to call 911 in the event of an overdose.

“It’s a window of time. It buys people time to get some medical attention. Because the overdose could return, there are two vials in each kit. Users that have these kits, it’s quite empowering for them.”

The Lethbridge HIV Connection has three satellite sites within the city. Bourque said this allows them to have a good connection with the users in the community, to ensure they get the help they need.

“These kits will save lives,” said Bourque. “In B.C., they’ve reversed over 200 overdoses since the program began in 2012. In the U.S.A., over 10,000 across the country in the number of years since the program has been running. It is an effective tool, and it keeps people connected to support services which is really important.”

Alberta Health has also approved the funding and distribution of kits to agencies in Medicine Hat, Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, and Jasper.