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Articles on Drug use

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Premier David Eby, joined by Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, announce that the B.C. government is banning the use of hard drugs in public places, part of the province’s ongoing decriminalization pilot project, at a press conference in Victoria on Oct. 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Decriminalization failures show half measures are not enough to address drug use problems and the opioid crisis

Decriminalizing drugs is not intended as a solution to drug problems. Rather, it is a critical first step that’s necessary, but not sufficient, for replacing prohibition with a public health approach.
Many LGBTQ+ people do not access drug and alcohol support services because they fear stigma and discrimination. Old Town Tourist/Shutterstock

How substance use services can better support LGBTQ+ people

LGBTQ+ people face barriers to accessing substance use services, but research shows there are ways to make them more inclusive and supportive.
People march to remember those who died during the drug poisoning crisis on International Overdose Awareness Day, in Vancouver, on Aug. 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Decriminalization: How police drug seizure, even without arrest, can create harms

A police policy of not making arrests for simple possession is a way to essentially decriminalize personal drug use. However, confiscating drugs — even without arrests — can be harmful in many ways.
Although xylazine is not an opioid, naloxone can reverse the effects of the fentanyl and heroin it is often mixed with. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

What is xylazine? A medical toxicologist explains how it increases overdose risk, and why Narcan can still save a life

Xylazine, or tranq, is increasingly being mixed with drugs like fentanyl or heroin and can be difficult to detect. Most people who use drugs are unable to tell if they have been exposed to it.

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