First Do No Harm

Canada’s “harm reduction” approach to the opioid crisis is gradually being emulated by US cities including San Francisco, risking a face-off with the Justice Department.

British Columbia—the heart of Canada’s opioid crisis—now has 29 sites to safely inject drugs, provided by organizations like the Overdose Prevention Society. Some give users pharmaceutical-grade heroin several times a day.

Research indicates that this approach reduces the burden on criminal justice and health services, and the spread of diseases like HIV. But with overdose deaths in BC continuing to rise, from under 400 in 2014 to over 1,400 in 2017—is it working?

The Washington Post

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