From: Fighting For Space
In America today, overdose deaths are the highest they have ever been. Heroin has reached the middle class and suburban America. At the same time, public opinion has turned against the war on drugs, and policymakers are finally beginning to look at addiction as a health issue as opposed to one for the criminal justice system. Despite conservative reluctance, a conversation about harm reduction is being forced on North America by an unprecedented increase in opioid addictions and a spike in overdose deaths. Although harm reduction remains widely misunderstood, it is about saving lives. Vancouver, a mid-sized city in Western Canada, has proven that over the course of the last two decades.
Travis Lupick is an award-winning journalist based in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. He has more than a decade's experience working as a staff reporter for the Georgia Straight newspaper and has also written about drug addiction, harm reduction, and mental health for the Toronto Star, the Walrus, and Al Jazeera English, among other outlets. For his reporting on Canada's opioid crisis, Lupick received the Canadian Association of Journalists' Don McGillivray Award for best overall investigative report of 2016 and two 2017 Jack Webster awards for excellence in B.C. journalism. He has also worked as a journalist in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Bhutan, Peru, and Honduras.