One doctor’s answer to drug deaths: opioid vending machines

published on April 17, 2019 by Issie Lapowsky in WIRED

IT’S A WINTER afternoon in Vancouver, and Mark Tyndall is taking me on a tour of all the places people can go if they want to use drugs and be pretty sure they won’t die.

BLUE TARPS AND shabby tents with people sleeping in them line our route in the Downtown Eastside, where the wail of an ambulance siren is always around the corner. We see handwritten signs taped up in the back alleys, warning “Danger: Green Heroin. Use ¼ usual dose.”

This is Canada’s skid row, a place where almost everyone can tell you about the friends and neighbors they’ve lost to an overdose. This city has seen a sixfold increase in overdose deaths over the last decade, with more than 1,000 of those people dying since 2016 alone. According to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, more than 300 of those deaths happened in the last two years here in the Downtown Eastside, a roughly seven-block strip that contains one of North America’s densest populations of injection drug users…

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