Vancouver clients sing praises of only North American clinic to offer medical heroin (Crosstown Clinic and Dr. Scott MacDonald)

 The smell of rubbing alcohol permeates a tiny room where chronic heroin users inject a pharmaceutical-grade version of the drug three times a day to just feel normal.

Justin Hall, 48, exits the freshly cleaned injection room at the Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside after his second visit of the day. He plans to return in the evening for his third “shift,” the same routine he has followed for 2 1/2 years.

“A lot of people just muscle it, they don't bother with the veins,” Hall says as the next group of people line up outside the room containing eight orange chairs in front of a counter and a mirrored wall.

Camille Bains reports

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