A report documents the failing role that current federal drug policies play in supporting safety and health and draws attention to the acute need for an improved system of supports for people who use drugs including harm reduction. The report’s authors found that Canada’s current federal government is openly hostile to evidence-based measures like harm reduction services and has clearly taken a punitive approach to addressing drug use problems.
And failure by all levels of government to fully meet the needs of people with drug problems, means that some groups are still outright denied these lifesaving services and many community-based organizations struggle to meet the basic needs of their clients. This report also highlights recent changes to Canadian law that implement mandatory minimum sentences and Canada’s escalating military role in the war of drugs. Despite these ominous developments the report also documents the innovations in harm reduction pioneered by Canadians in a North American context including supervised injection services and heroin-assisted treatment.