Former Vancouver safe supply program saved lives, new research says

published on February 23, 2024 by Lori Culbert and Katie DeRosa in Vancouver Sun

Substance-users who got drugs vetted for fatal contaminants from a now-closed compassion club significantly reduced their overdose rates, keeping them alive during the fatal drug overdose crisis, says a University of B.C. professor involved in newly released research.

The findings, published Thursday in an international drug-policy research journal, tracked 47 participants of a compassion club run by the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF), which received Vancouver Coastal Health funding to test drugs in a University of Victoria lab before selling them to members in a Downtown Eastside storefront in Vancouver.

Between August 2022 and October 2023, researchers found non-fatal overdoses by club members were cut in half, compared with their lives before they had access to safe supply. And non-fatal overdoses requiring intervention from naloxone, an overdose-reversing treatment, decreased by nearly two-thirds.

No one had a fatal overdose…

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