Review concludes Vancouver safe injection site is effective

Authors encourage government to drop legal action that would close facility

An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reviewing the history and effectiveness of Vancouver’s safe-injection site has concluded that the facility reduces needle sharing, cuts overdose deaths and allows for addiction treatment. Its authors are also urging the federal government to give up its Supreme Court of Canada challenge aimed at shutting the facility down. Insite opened in 2003 in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, allowing drug users to inject their own heroin under the supervision of a nurse. The Conservative government has been long opposed to the site, arguing that it fosters addiction. The B.C. Supreme Court and B.C.’s Appeal Court both ruled that the site is a health care facility that is under the province’s jurisdiction, and should operate with federal government money. The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to hear arguments on the issue later this year.


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