Our field school had the opportunity to tour an alternative social planning program in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood:
InSite for Community Safety, the first supervised injection site in North America.
Opened in 2003 in a tandem agreement between Vancouver Coastal Health and the non-profit Portland Hotel Society, InSite was ordered a special exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Although opposed by numerous political parties, the program has successfully been helping residents of DTES for over the last decade. This has been visibly seen in the reduced number of overall overdoses, and lower transmission rates of diseases by injection drug use (such as HIV and Hepatitis C). The facility even co-operates OnSite, a rehabilitation centre for patients seeking immediate withdrawal services and transition services.
Here we are touring InSite's facilities: