Police practices in Downtown Eastside have negative impact on drug users: study

published on September 18, 2019 by Estefania Duran in CBC News (BC)

Policing practices in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are creating barriers for people wanting to access overdose prevention sites, according to a new study by the B.C. Centre on Substance Use and the University of British Columbia.

The study also found police presence in the area increased the risk of overdose for drug users.

Researchers began collecting data in December 2016 and did more than 200 hours of fieldwork in areas near overdose prevention sites, including interviews with 72 people who use drugs.

“Intensifying policing presences around overdose prevention sites means people aren’t able to access [the sites] and then they’re pushed into unsafe injecting environments and especially are much more likely to inject alone,” said lead author Ryan McNeil…

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