War on drugs ‘crippling’ overdose, HIV response: B.C. researcher (Dr. Kora DeBeck)

Criminalizing drugs has hurt efforts to respond to the global HIV epidemic and other harms associated with addiction, according to a British Columbia researcher.

Dr. Kora DeBeck, with the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Simon Fraser University, published a joint study with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on Wednesday concluding that the vast majority of English, peer-reviewed science (80 per cent) available “suggested that drug criminalization has a negative effect on HIV prevention and treatment.”

Criminalization, she said, often results in higher rates of HIV/AIDS, restricts access to clean needles and syringes and prevents people from accessing treatment and health services.

Matt Kieltyka reports

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