Safe Injection Sites (SIS) in Canada

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Harm reduction strategies in Canada, such as safe injection sites (SIS) have been proven to be an effective strategy to control the effects of injection drug use (Small et al., 2011). The proven effectiveness of these strategies renders the governments’ “war on drugs” and criminalization strategies ideological. The Toronto Board of Health meeting that took place on July 10, 2013 where public health officials, community organizations, previous injection drug users (IDUs) and their families spoke in favour of opening a SIS. Furthermore, the Conservative government has recently started a “Keep Heroine out of our Backyards” campaign and created Bill C-65 to make it more difficult to open SIS. I wish to look at different newspaper articles from the Toronto Sun and History and Literature Review: War on drugs, harm reduction and Insite The war on drugs, which started in the United States, has become widespread in many countries around the world, and increasingly so in Canada (Odeh, 2013). It has been shown that the war on drugs is an inefficient way to minimize or even control drug use and possession (Odeh, 2013). This begs the question then as to why the war on drugs is still being waged with increasing force. The United States, which started the war on drugs, now has the highest prison population per capita in the world, with 730 of every 100,000 people imprisoned (Odeh, 2013). Furthermore, more than half of these people in prison are serving sentences for drug crimes (Odeh, 2013). Despite the fact that it costs taxpayers a lot of money, with no results; drug use and the amount of drugs in the US hasn’t decreased, the war on drugs has not stopped. While some Americans, even very conservative ones (CBC, 2011) have come to the conclus... ... middle of paper ... ...eller, J., Moore, D., Tyndall, M., Wood, E., Kerr, T. (2011). Injection drug users’ access to a supervised injection facility in Vancouver, Canada: The influence of operating policies and local drug culture. Qualitative Health Research, 21 (6), 743-756. Smith, C. B. R. (2012). Harm reduction as anarchist practice: A user’s guide to capitalism and addiction in North America. Critical Public Health, 22(2), 209-221. White, C. L. (2001). Beyond professional harm reduction: The empowerment of multi- marginalized illicit drug users to engage in a politics of solidarity towards ending the war on illicit drug users. Drug and Alcohol Review, 20, 449-458. Wood, E., Tyndall, M. W., Montaner, T. K. (2006). Summary of findings from the evaluation of a pilot medically supervised safer injecting facility. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 175(11), 1399-1404.

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