Demystifying Medicine Video



The opioid crisis continues to make its presence known throughout Canada. The issue is exacerbated by the stigma surrounding people who use substances. Societal stigma can pose as a barrier — preventing people from seeking help for their condition. Harm reduction is a term used to describe public health approaches designed to minimize negative consequences related to misusing substances (i.e. alcohol and drugs). This approach involves a range of policies, practices and programs proven to reduce the harms that may be associated with substance use. Safe consumption sites, needle exchanges, opioid substitution programs, education and naloxone are all examples of harm reduction efforts. This video delves into the origins of the opioid crisis, the disastrous effects of stigma, the importance of harm reduction and ways through which we can implement this practice into our lives.

This video was made possible with the collaboration of Tim Clemont, the director of the Hamilton AIDS network, and Shifting Perceptions Podcast, a podcast dedicated to discussing harm reduction and substance use.

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References
  • Kerr T, Mitra S, Kennedy MC, McNeil R. Supervised injection facilities in Canada: past, present, and future. Harm reduction journal. 2017 Dec;14(1):28.
  • Millar JS. HIV, hepatitis, and injection drug use in British Columbia: pay now or pay later? Victoria, B.C: Office of the Provincial Health Officer, B.C. Ministry of Health; 1998.
  • Oved M, Cribb R. Health minister says it’s not province’s job to track drug-dealing pharmacists. The Star. Retrieved 19 Oct 2018.
  • 4) Opioidprescribing.hqontario.ca. (2018). 9 Million Prescriptions – What we know about the growing use of prescription opioids in Ontario. Retrieved 18 Oct. 2018.
  • Hughes, C., & Stevens, A. (2007). The effects of the decriminalization of drug use in Portugal. (2007). Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme.
  • Hughes, C., & Stevens, A. (2010). What can we learn from the Portuguese decriminalization of illicit drugs? British Journal of Criminology, 50, pp. 999–1022.
  • Kolodny, Andrew, et al. "The prescription opioid and heroin crisis: a public health approach to an epidemic of addiction." Annual review of public health 36 (2015): 559-574.
Resources:
  • Keeping six drop-in centres
  • Wesley Urban Ministries
  • Aboriginal Health Centre
  • Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre
  • The Aids Network
  • A Mobile Needle Exchange Van
  • Free naloxone kits are available at any drug store