Open more overdose prevention sites in urban and rural areas across Canada: study

published on December 2, 2021 by Camille Bains in Toronto Star

VANCOUVER – Researchers in British Columbia say the expansion of overdose prevention sites in Vancouver led to immediate behaviour changes among some drug users as they entered addiction treatment and decreased the number of times they injected substances in public or shared syringes.

Their study says the positive impact of scaling up peer-led supervised injection sites should prompt other provinces and territories to open more such services, which do not need federal approval.

In B.C., the highest rates of fatal overdose are in the urban Vancouver health region, at 44.6 per 100,000 people, and the remote northern region, where the rate is 42.8 per 100,000.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Addiction by researchers with the BC Centre on Substance Use and the University of British Columbia, suggests more overdose prevention sites could reduce deaths from illicit drugs because users face few barriers and peers and staff can inject drugs for people, including those with disabilities…

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