In an ally, doorway, or behind a telephone pole, people crouch to inject their deadly dose of cocaine, heroin, and other drugs, oblivious to the daytime traffic on a nearby street. This is the day to day life of the drug users in downtown Vancouver; do you think there is nothing that can be done? Well, there is. Safe injections sites are a clean, safe, supervised environment where drug users can inject their own drugs off the streets, and connect to addiction, health and community services. InSite is the first and only supervised injection site in North America (InSite for Community Safety). InSite is located at 139 East Hastings Street, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. More safe injection sites will greatly reduce overdose fatalities, notably reduce public injections, improving public order, and reduce the transmission of blood-borne infections. The number of safe injection sites in the Lower Mainland must increase immediately.
A rise in the number of safe injection sites in the Lower Mainland will greatly reduce overdose fatalities. In the seven years that InSite has been open, no overdoses in the facility have been fatal. Of the approximately 11,207 users, “there have been a large number of overdoses within the Safe Injection Facility, and it is noteworthy that none of these overdoses resulted in a fatality” (Kerr et al.). The average amount of overdose deaths has dramatically dropped from approximately 200/year in the years before InSite to approximately 35/year over the last five years. This means that with InSite being open less people have died from overdoses and more people are getting help when they do overdose. This in turn makes it safer for people who feel they need drugs to survive. Drug users who use safe injection sites for seventy-five percent or more of their injections are less likely to overdose. This is because of increased safety measures and drug use education at InSite. Having more Safe Injection Sites in the Lower Mainland would...
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