Experts challenge Vancouver’s safe injection stats

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Drug intervention experts and law enforcement officials who lived through the Vancouver safe injection site experience insist there was no decrease in either overdoses or drug-related crime.

Dr. Colin Mangham, a researcher and consultant in drug prevention for 37 years, told the Sun from B.C. last week he was “shocked at how weak” the research was into the effectiveness of InSite, the safe injection site set up in 2003 by Vancouver Coastal Health in the city’s Downtown East Side.

Mangham says the 30-35% reported decline in fatal overdoses among those using InSite was subject to “interpretation bias” – meaning the same people who created the program did the research on it.

Retired Vancouver cop John McKay, the inspector assigned to the area from 2003 to 2006, writes in a statement to the respected Lancet medical journal in 2012 that the 65 police officers assigned to the area once InSite opened were “integral” to the lowered overdose rates.

McKay said by phone last week they quickly realized they had to adopt a strategic policing effort because the impact of InSite was huge on surrounding Gastown and Chinatown. He said people were living on the streets injecting, dealers were there (having recognized that their clients were permitted to be in possession of the illegal drugs), “human defecation was everywhere,” there were needles in the alleyways and “a lot of violence.”

Young students at one school situated about five or six blocks away from InSite constantly had to watch for abandoned needles in the schoolyard, he adds.

“Harm reduction for drug addicts is harm production for the rest of the community because of the behaviour of the people (the addicts),” McKay says.

For complete article go to Insite Injecting Room \’WEAK\” evidence


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