Ithaca transplant from Vancouver on the Insite safe injection site

February 24, 2016 by Jay

"Jay" moved to Ithaca from Vancouver Canada 6 years ago. He is well acquainted with the safe injection site in Vancouver, having had a tour and interviewed the director, a nurse, and an addict at the site.

Here are 4 positives he saw about the clinic in Vancouver:

  1. Saves lives. Overdose deaths in the downtown eastside have dropped 35% since insite opened. 2395 people have overdosed at insite with no fatalities.
  2. Reduces Disease. 30% of residents of the area are infected by HIV, making it the highest rate in North America. An astounding 90% of Insite clients are HEP C positive. Since infection is most easily spread through the sharing of dirty needles, provision of clean needles drastically cuts down the risk.
  3. Builds Relationships. Some clients come in 15-20 times a day. If you see a person that many times, eventually a friendship develops.
  4. Referral to other Services. The needs of a mentally addicted homeless drug addict are titanic. Through the build up of trust, people can start to open up and share what their needs are. Referrals can then be made for housing, medical care counseling, detox, etc.

"Jay" holds a high profile position in a mid-sized company in Ithaca and asked that his identity not be shared, as he does not want to appear as representing the views of the company.

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