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  • Supervised injection sites come to Montreal

    Posted on January 16th, 2014 TimB No comments

    Montreal will soon be home to four supervised injection sites. The sites, announced in December 2013, will include three permanent locations in already existing clinics across the city, as well as one mobile clinic to serve the Montreal area.

    The news comes after a decade-long struggle between the Canadian federal government and the Quebec-based organizations that have been advocating for supervised injection sites (SIS) in Montreal ever since the first site, Insite Vancouver, was established in 2003.

    SISs are places where injection-drug users can go to obtain clean needles and dispose of used ones. Additionally, social workers and on-site emergency medical attention are available to users if needed. These sites are part of an approach known as harm reduction, which involves programs that provide safe spaces and medical services for drug users in a nonjudgmental and non-coercive manner.

    Since its inception, Insite has operated under an exemption to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, allowing it to legally provide help to drug users.

    Inspired by Insite, Montreal-based organizations, such as Association pour la Défense des Droits et l’Inclusion des personnes qui Consomment des drogues du Québec (ADDICQ) and CACTUS Montreal, began campaigning for SISs in 2003. However, they were unable to obtain the same exemption that Insite was given, and thus had little hope of creating the sites. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that Insite was a necessary service, said Sylvain Côté of ADDICQ, a community-based organization that provides support for injection drug users.

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  • UN official backs Kings Cross injecting room

    Posted on August 30th, 2010 TimB No comments

    A UNITED NATIONS official says he is ”very impressed” by the medically supervised injecting centre in Kings Cross, which has been operating on a trial basis for almost a decade.

    The executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, said it was a ”pragmatic, cost-effective” way to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and prevent deaths of intravenous drug users, who were often homeless or mentally ill.

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  • Research finds injecting rooms improve chance of rehab

    Posted on June 20th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Medical researchers have found supervised drug injecting rooms help improve the chances of drug users getting further treatment. In a report to be released next week, medical research organisation the Burnet Institute looked at evidence from 76 supervised injection facilities operating around the world.

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  • Ingrid van Beek Sydney supervised injecting facility to be honoured

    Posted on June 15th, 2010 TimB No comments

    The founder of Sydney’s controversial medically-supervised injecting centre has been recognised for her work at the “sharp end” of public health policy.

    Ingrid van Beek, a medical doctor, academic, lobbyist and author has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

    Dr van Beek who is best known for her work at the Kings Cross injecting centre, which opened for trial operation in 2001, said she was “honoured” to be recognised for service to public health and community medicine.

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  • France: a mock supervised injection facility as a step forward for harm reduction

    Posted on May 24th, 2010 TimB No comments

    When integrated in harm reduction policy, supervised injection facilities (SIF) proved their efficiency in fighting AIDS and overdoses, and improving healthcare accessibility. Several European Countries successfullydeveloped such facilities, though France has not stepped forward yet.

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  • Supervised Injection Facilities N412 – Final Revision

    Posted on April 10th, 2010 TimB No comments

    The aim of this paper was to review the literature that explores the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies, specifically supervised injection facilities (SIF). The rates of Hepatitis C (HVC) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have reached startling proportions. In Canada, the realities of illicit drug use have been acknowledged and harm reduction strategies implemented, including North Americas first supervised injection facility (SIF) in 2003, Vancouvers InSite. Given the overwhelming statistics of the prevalence rates of HCV and HIV among intravenous drug users (IDU) within British Columbia, the effectiveness of supervised injection facilities as a harm reduction approach requires investigation.

  • InSite saves addicts’ lives

    Posted on March 15th, 2010 TimB No comments

    About a month ago, In-Site staff came to work in the morning and found a woman lying, in tears, in crisis, in the street outside the facility in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.

    Trauma Mama (In-Site users check-in at the reception desk using pseudonyms) had been visiting the facility for four years to inject cocaine, so they knew her well and approached, hoping to help.

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  • “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts”: Dr. Gabor Maté, Physician at Vancouver Safe-Injection Site, on the Biological and Socio-Economic Roots of Addiction and ADD

    Posted on February 11th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Dr. Gabor Maté is the staff physician at the Portland Hotel Society, which runs a residence/harm reduction facility and North America’s only supervised safe-injection site in Vancouver, Canada, home to one of the world’s densest areas of drug users. The bestselling author of four books, we speak to Dr. Maté about his latest, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, which proposes new approaches to treating addiction through an understanding of its biological and socio-economic roots. Maté also discusses his work on attention deficit disorder and the mind-body connection.

  • Stories from the Supervised Injection Site

    Posted on February 3rd, 2010 TimB No comments

    Insite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site designed to offer injection drug users a safe, clean
    place to inject drugs. Professional nursing staff and counsellors provide a first point of contact for some of the
    most marginalized and vulnerable people in Vancouver. Download

  • Federalism, Policy Learning, and Local Innovation in Public Health: The Case of the Supervised Injection Facility

    Posted on July 14th, 2009 TimB No comments

    Evidence from international evaluations suggests that safe injection facilities (SIFs) may represent a medically effective and economically efficient strategy for reducing the incidence and harms of injection drug use among the chronically homeless and otherwise marginalized people. The success of such facilities in other countries has amplified calls for their introduction in the United States where injection drug use among the most difficult to reach groups continues to be an intractable source of numerous individual and public health harms as well as a major financial burden for certain municipalities

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