Episode 3: Unsanctioned

Two men sit in the injection room at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug User’s storefront. Photo by Alexander Kim.

Across North America, governments are opposing supervised injection sites. In Crackdown‘s third episode, we tell you how to open one anyway.

You can download a full transcript for Episode 3 here (PDF).

Boomer prepares harm reduction supplies at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.
Photo by Alex Kim.

Vancouver has become famous for Insite–North America’s first supervised injection facility. Insite is one of the more exciting (and effective) drug policy interventions in the world. However, most people don’t know about the story of civil disobedience that preceded it, or that came after.

Reading List

The Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs, “This Tent Saves Lives: How to Open an Overdose Prevention Site.”

McNeil, R., Small, W., Lampkin, H., Shannon, K., & Kerr, T. (2014). “People knew they could come here to get help”: an ethnographic study of assisted injection practices at a peer-run ‘unsanctioned’ supervised drug consumption room in a Canadian setting. AIDS and Behavior, 18(3), 473-485.

McNeil, R., Kerr, T., Lampkin, H., & Small, W. (2015). We need somewhere to smoke crack”: An ethnographic study of an unsanctioned safer smoking room in Vancouver, Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26(7), 645-652.

Kennedy, M. C., Boyd, J., Mayer, S., Collins, A., Kerr, T., & McNeil, R. (2019). Peer worker involvement in low-threshold supervised consumption facilities in the context of an overdose epidemic in Vancouver, Canada. Social Science & Medicine, 225, 60-68.

Kerr, T., Small, W., Peeace, W., Douglas, D., Pierre, A., & Wood, E. (2006). Harm reduction by a “user-run” organization: a case study of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). International Journal of Drug Policy, 17(2), 61-69.

Kerr, T., Mitra, S., Kennedy, M. C., & McNeil, R. (2017). Supervised injection facilities in Canada: past, present, and future. Harm Reduction Journal, 14(1), 28.

Activists protesting for a supervised injection facility in Halifax.
Photo by Matt Bonn

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