August 31, 2010
Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Facility Challenges Canada’s Drug Laws
Despite medical research that indicates Vancouver's supervised injection facility, Insite, reduces needle-sharing and overdose deaths, the facility's fate is uncertain, states an analysis article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) (pre-embargo link only) http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj100032.pdf.
Insite was North America's first sanctioned supervised safe injection site, opened in 2003 under the then Liberal government. In 2006, a Conservative government removed harm reduction from Canada's anti drug policy after winning the election and began to threaten the facility with closure. The federal government will appeal the decisions of two provincial courts in British Columbia to keep the facilitly open the Supreme Court of Canada most likely in the fall or winter of 2010.
Kathleen Dooling, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Peel Public Health and Michael Rachlis, associate professor at the Dalla Lanna School of Public Health, University of Toronto examine the role of scientific evidence and the clash of opinions around harm reduction.
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