April 18, 2011 09:11 ET

Media Advisory; New Study Adds to the Overwhelming Evidence: InSite Saves Lives

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 18, 2011) - Today The Lancet will publish a study proving what we've known since 2003, that InSite prevents overdose deaths.

By comparing the rates of overdose-related mortality in the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside before and after the safe injection site opened, researchers with the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS found that InSite was associated with a 35% decline in the number of overdose deaths. The authors of this latest article are adding more evidence to the international chorus of support for safer injection.

Speaking on behalf of the PHS Community Services Society, which runs North America's only safe injection site in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, Mark Townsend said, "this study shows it's time for Stephen Harper to stop putting his own personal ideology ahead of sound public health policy." InSite is proven save lives, save money, and promote detox. Even members of Mr. Harper's own party agree, as Conservative Senator Pierre Claude Nolin recently demonstrated, telling The Globe and Mail, "Public health programs like this need to be evidence-based, not politically driven." But the government's attack on InSite continues, with the Supreme Court hearing Mr. Harper's case only 10 days after the federal election, on May 12th.

Today, we'd like Stephen Harper to break with tradition and answer a sixth question: Why do you insist on playing politics with Canadian lives?

We invite you to join us at InSite (139 Hastings St. E) on Monday morning at 9:00am for a photo and interview opportunity with:

  • A mother who lost her daughter to an overdose on the street before InSite opened.
  • Users who have survived overdoses thanks to InSite.
  • Dr. Thomas Kerr, co-director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Contact Information

  • InSite
    Mark Townsend