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Police presence near supervised consumption sites in Toronto discouraging access (Dr. Geoff Bardwell, BCCSU)

Dr. Geoff Bardwell, postdoctoral research fellow, BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU).
Dr. Geoff Bardwell, postdoctoral research fellow, BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU).

Supervised consumption sites are being expanded across Canada in response to opioid overdoses and other harms related to drug use. However, recent research suggests that policing in Toronto may be a key barrier to accessing this life-saving health service.

“It’s critical to understand how people’s experiences with police shape access to supervised consumption services,” says Dr. Geoff Bardwell, lead author of the study and postdoctoral research fellow with the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU). “Many people who would benefit from these harm reduction programs have negative experiences with police as a result of the criminalization of drug use and poverty. As a result, the mere presence of police at a health service site may discourage them from accessing these services.”

Read the full story on UBC News.

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