Harm reduction saves over 3000 lives

Click the above image for the CBC news article which discusses a study monitoring the number of overdose deaths prevented and lives saved in BC due to harm reduction services.

Between April 2016 - December 2017 the overdose crisis has killed an astonishing number of people across Canada, and especially in British Columbia (with a focus on Vancouver and the Downtown Eastside community).

According to the study led by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), there were 2,177 people killed by overdose in the province in that time. However, the rapid increased distribution of take-home naloxone kits — and other harm reduction services, has prevented thousands of overdose deaths in B.C.

Research suggests that the overdose crisis death toll would have been more than double without harm reduction in place and more than 3,000 deaths have been prevented.

In the period from April 2016 to December 2017, the study found there were:

  • 1,580 deaths averted due to access to take-home naloxone kits.

  • 230 deaths averted by overdose prevention and supervised injection sites (with 23 sites operating by the end of 2017).

  • 590 deaths prevented by opioid agonist treatment or opioid replacement treatment (with 22,191 people receiving treatment in 2017, including methadone, Suboxone and hydromorphone)

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