Canadian injection site cut overdose deaths, study says

North America’s only sanctioned site of its kind should become a model

Just as Canada’s highest court prepares to hear a lawsuit over the federal government’s attempt to close the Insite safe injection facility in Vancouver, a new study has been published in the prestigious Lancet medical journal showing that Insite—the only sanctioned facility for the injection of illegal drugs—has cut overdose deaths and should be emulated elsewhere. At the site, heroin and cocaine addicts are provided with clean needles and allowed to inject themselves with their own drugs under a nurse’s supervision, then given some time to adjust before leaving. Drug overdose deaths have been cut by 35 per cent in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside, which has one of the country’s highest drug addiction rates, the study says. It requires a legal exemption to stay open, and critics say it promotes illegal drug use.


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