This article just came out yesterday on the heels of a Canadian Medical Association Journal article. Most of the info in it is recycled.
Between March of 2004, and April 30, 2005, approximately 320 people were referred for addiction treatment, the report said.
About 600 addicts use the clinic every day.
In its second year, there were 197 overdoses at the health facility, but no deaths.
600 visits a day and only 320 treatment referrals? And, no explanation as to whether they are passive referrals or active linkages.
The CMAJ article is here. It cites this July Drug and Alcohol Dependence article and reports “More than 800 [community resource] referrals were made per quarter, and about 40% of referrals were for various forms of addiction treatment.” This is clearly much higher than the Globe and Mail reported and higher than I remembered from the original article, so I checked the source which reported total community resource referrals of 434, 379, 554 and 804 for each quarter.
It’s also worth noting that there is a significant treatment shortage in Vancouver. Treatment is one of the city’s “four pillar” approach, but it’s been reported that there has been no action on this pillar. Vancouver’s Mayor, who is disabled from a ski accident uses a wheelchair, has publicly expressed doubt about capacity of addicts to recover, suggesting that they/we just need to accept their addiction in the same way he’s had to accept his disability.
Vancouver is regularly pointed to as a model response to addiction. Here’s a video on the program: