Study to look at ‘Welfare Wednesday’ and injection drug use

published on September 24, 2014 by Amy Judd in Global News

VANCOUVER – A new study will look at whether changing the timing of when welfare cheques are issued will affect drug overdoses among recipients who use intravenous drugs.

BC issues welfare cheques on the last Wednesday of the month.

In the study called Timing of income assistance payments and overdose patterns at a Canadian supervised injection facility, it says “it has been suggested that a sudden increase in cash may act as a conditioned cue for drug consumption.”

The study was published by the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

It compiled data from Insite, Vancouver’s supervised injection site, and while there have been no fatal overdoses at the facility, the study looked at non-fatal overdoses.

It found that between March 2004 and December 2010, there were a total of 1,138 “overdose events” at Insite.

“The distribution of overdose events per 1,000 injections was not uniform over time, with a peak occurring during the three days beginning with income assistance cheque issue day,” it states in the study.

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