Canada considers more heroin injection sites
Health authorities in Canada's westernmost province want to make the country's first test facility for heroin injection permanent and are considering opening additional clinics to meet the huge demand. The Vancouver facility was set up in 2003, against US opposition, as a three-year experiment exempt from Canadian drug laws.
Since then the clinic, North America's only such operation, has run at capacity, with some 800 heroin injections daily.
"It's all-round positive, with no downsides," said Perry Kendall, British Columbia province's chief medical officer.
Addicts bring in drugs purchased illegally on the street, and self-inject them under medical supervision. There are onsite emergency services in case of overdose and staff nurses and counselors to provide health care and referrals to rehabilitation facilities.
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