Vancouver drug users’ group once considered militant has led prevention policy (Dr. Thomas Kerr)

A copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms graces a wall around the corner from where a woman lies on the floor as a needle full of heroin is injected into her neck.

She rises quickly, sweeps her long brown hair over one shoulder and sits on a chair as a man is handed a needle by another woman also wanting his help at an overdose prevention site located at the office of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.

Dr. Thomas Kerr, associate director of the BC Centre on Substance Use, says he was an HIV researcher in 2000 when he was “blown away” by the political activism of Livingston and her now-deceased co-founder Bud Osborn, who promoted addiction as a health issue.

Camille Bains reports

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