In 2017, opioid overdoses killed nearly 4000 Canadians, almost of third of which were in BC.
Various organizations in Vancouver are looking to cannabis as an alternative drug for pain management, and as a harm reduction tool to help mitigate the crisis.
This methodology is reflected in Health Canada’s Canadian Cannabis Survey 2017, which reported 72% of respondents who used medical cannabis said it helped to decrease their use of other medications.
The downtown eastside (DTES) continues to be the city’s most at-risk community, creating a growing need for harm reduction programs.
Earlier this year, Eden Medicinal Society, who partnered with UBC and Dr. Zach Walsh for their Opiate Substitution Program, had to close their DTES location due to zoning bylaws.
High Hopes, which serves 100 people in the area, offers THC and CBD (a non-intoxicating compound in cannabis) to its patients and has seen a decline in opiate use.
With the help of Gastown Collective, the Opioid Prevention Society (OPS) is treating patients with cannabis in an effort to mitigate pain and reduce opioid dependency.
Colony Digital went onsite to capture the powerful impact cannabis therapy is having on Vancouver’s largest public health emergency.