Four Pillars Drug Strategy

The City of Vancouver’s Four Pillars Drug Strategy – A Framework for Action: A Four Pillars Approach to Drug Problems in Vancouver was adopted by Vancouver City Council unanimously in 2001.  The strategy has become symbolic of a comprehensive approach to the issue of drug addiction in Vancouver and has contributed to mobilizing all sectors of the community in Vancouver to support new approaches to an age old problem. For more on Vancouver’s approach to mental health and addiction follow this link.

Preventing Harm from Psychoactive Substance Use

Here is the link to the City of Vancouver’s Prevention Plan “Preventing Harm From Psychoactive Substance Use” passed by VAncouver City Council in 2005. The plan’s 27 recommendations lay out a comprehensive approach to preventing harm from drug use including acknowledging the harms directly related to Canada’s current policy of drug prohibition. They call for public education, employment training and jobs, supportive and transitional housing and easily accessible health care. They also call for prevention efforts tailored to Vancouver’s youth and its diverse ethno-cultural and Aboriginal communities. The recommendations address marijuana grow operations and methamphetamine labs, as well as the need for a syringe recovery system. The report calls for increasing limits on the sale of tobacco and a community partnership approach to the development and implementation of a comprehensive alcohol strategy. Finally, the report calls for legislative and regulatory changes to create a regulatory system for all currently illegal drugs that would increase our ability to control potentially harmful substances and limit the control that organized criminals have over these drugs.

Raise Shit! Social Action: Savings Lives

Here is the link to our new book Raise Shit! Social Action, Saving Lives. The book was put together by Susan Boyd, Bud Osborn and Donald MacPherson. It tells a story of community activism in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that culminated in a social justice movement to open the first official safe injection site in North America. This story is unique: it is told from the point of view of drug users, those most affected by drug policy, political decisions, and policing. It provides a montage of poetry, photos, notes from the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users meetings, journal entries from the Back Alley – the “unofficial” safe injection site – and excerpts from significant health and media reports. The harms of prohibition, as well as the resistance, hope, kindness, awakening and collective action of the community are chronicled in these pages.

Link to Fernwood Publications

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