Thu. May 19th, 2022

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A formal complaint has been lodged with the board of one of Canberra’s publicly funded drug harm minimization organizations over a breach of duty of care, claiming that two of its employees did not intervene when a man died of a drug overdose earlier. on the year. The mystery still surrounds the circumstances that led to the overdose death of 48-year-old Felipe (Phillip) Alvarez on March 30. It has been alleged that two employees of the non-profit Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimization and Advocacy (CAHMA) were inside the victim’s Taylor unit for several hours as the man’s condition deteriorated significantly. Alvarez later died in the stairwell of the unit despite a desperate effort by paramedics to revive him. CAHMA would not directly answer questions regarding the incident and argue that the incident may be the subject of a coronal investigation. CAHMA CEO Chris Gough could only confirm “none of its employees were present in a professional / paid property on site, date and time”. “CAHMA has some reliable information about the incident as it is still under police investigation,” he said. However, Gough confirmed that all CAHMA employees were trained in naloxone administration and received naloxone kits. Naloxone is a common opioid antagonist used to completely or partially reverse opioid overdose. It works by blocking opioid drugs, such as heroin and oxycodone, from becoming attached to opioid receptors in the brain. He added that the organization “actively investigates internally to ensure that our policies and procedures are best practices.” Police have confirmed that Felipe Alvarez’s death remains an “open investigation and further steps will be determined by the death mediator” following an incident alleging that the victim shared illegal drugs with other visitors, was dizzy and was resuscitated, but then fell into unconsciousness and later died despite the paramedics’ best efforts to save him. No investigation date has been set and the Alvarez family has not received autopsy results. Based in Belconnen, CAHMA describes itself as existing to “promote the health and human rights of people who use or have used illegal drugs”. It says on its website: “We believe that people who use drugs should be treated with dignity and respect, both as human beings and as consumers of health and social services”. It is a member of the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association (ATODA) ACT. CAHMA received over $ 1.4 million in public funding last year. The Capital Health Network contributes $ 668,450 through the Commonwealth Government’s primary health network plan. In this fiscal year, it also received $ 757,886 from ACT Health. Alvarez has been described by friends and family as a “happy, bubbly man” with a “heart of gold” who was outgoing and much loved. His sister, Gaby, however, said that Felipe was also a vulnerable Aboriginal man if others had good will and generosity. “The whole family feels his loss terribly,” Gaby Alvarez-Sledge said. “What we all want is answers to how this happened if there were people present there who were trained and who should have helped him, even called for an ambulance, but they did not.” When my brother’s life hung in balance, nothing was done. Mr Alvarez’s niece, Rebecca, has lodged a complaint with CAHMA’s board over what she described as “clear, many breaches of the code of conduct, confidentiality, ethical and legal standards”. The cloud over the circumstances surrounding Mr Alvarez’s death comes at a time when an amendment to the Drug Addiction Act is being prepared for debate in the ACT Legislative Assembly.The bill would decriminalize the personal possession of small amounts of drugs such as heroin cocaine and methylamphetamine.Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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