How changing income assistance payment schedules impact drug use and related harm

published on April 15, 2021 in Medical Xpress

A study published this week in The Lancet Public Health examines how we can use our income assistance systems to address drug use and drug-related harm.

The study, led by University of British Columbia (UBC) medical sociologist Dr. Lindsey Richardson and conducted at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), tests whether varying the timing and frequency of income assistance payments can mitigate drug-related harms linked to the existing once-monthly payment schedule that is common across North America and Europe. Monthly synchronized income assistance payments have long been linked to considerable and costly increases in drug use and resulting harm, including overdose, hospital admission, treatment interruption and emergency service calls…

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