Young people at the centre of the toxic drug crisis

published on February 28, 2024 in UBC News

Vancouver may be considered by many as the “best place” to live, but many young people living in the city are facing unprecedented challenges that are making their futures more precarious than ever. Hundreds of youth who call Vancouver home are standing at the intersection of a housing affordability crisis and a toxic drug poisoning public health emergency.

For the past 15 years, Dr. Danya Fast, a research scientist at BC Centre on Substance Use and assistant professor at UBC’s department of medicine, has been following the lives of young people who use drugs in Vancouver. Those experiences are captured in her new book, The Best Place: Addiction, Intervention, and Living and Dying Young in Vancouver. As she traces the lives and deaths of one group of young people, we witness these young individuals attempting to navigate various services and systems as a public health overdose emergency sweeps B.C. Fast centres the perspectives of these youth, who are often pushed to the margins of Vancouver, as they strive to find their footing…

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