Subscribe to POV 

Not coming to a megaplex near you
 All Blogs  
May 04, 2011

Harm Reduction, Raw Opium, and InSite

By Katherine Dodds

DOXA FlyerRaw Opium, Hello Cool World and Harm Reduction

Hello Cool World is thrilled to be a communty partner for the upcoming DOXA screening of Raw Opium on May 7. We think this film is a timely and much-needed look at the impacts of the war on drugs, from our own DTES 'hood to the case study of Portugal as a decriminalization success story. 

And of course we also are big supporters of InSite Safe Injection Site. Now that Harper's conservatives are in again, we really need to go to battle keep InSite open. the story of insite is woven through the film Raw Opium, and we hope the film will spark debate over this issue. And of course we hope people will want to take action!

To this end we are working with the filmmakers to engage audiences as the film launches. Please JOIN US and help us in getting the word on the street by printing and distributing some flyers:

Some upcoming dates to take note of:

VANCOUVER: May 7, noon: Raw Opium at DOXA

May 12: InSite Court Date

May 17: Health, Harm Reduction and the Law: The InSite Case and the Future of Canadian Drug Policy

SAVE THE DATE TORONTO: May 25, Raw Opium Screening

Read on for details and links to the InSite story...


Exerpt from Guest blog from Amanda Connon-Unda:

In the feature documentary, Raw Opium: Pain, Pleasure, Profits premiering at DOXA documentary festival on May 7, we meet people from around the world whose lives are caught in the grasp of opium and the heroin that's made from it -- farmers, users and law enforcement officers. One of them is Derek -- a heroin user who's able to get clean needles and access to rehabilitation services at the InSite Clinic in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Read more...


Insite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site. The BC Ministry of Health Services provides operational funding for InSite through Vancouver Coastal Health, which operates the facility in conjunction with Portland Hotel Society (PHS) Community Services Society.

On May 12, Insite is back in court defending their right to stay open. Insite's story has been in the news recently because of a new study published by the Lancet that talks about how effective its harm reduction approach is for saving lives from overdoses and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS.

On May 12th 2011, The Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear the Federal Government’s appeal of the decision to allow the InSite safe injection facility to continue to operate.


A recently published study in The Lancet says that Insite helped reduce the number of fatal overdoses in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside by more than a third and reduced the spread of HIV/AIDS. Still Insite is under threat of closure by Harper's Conservatives. The work Insite does is featured in Raw Opium and we hope the film sparks a  debate on drug policy in Canada. We know harm reduction works.

See the film. May 7 - DOXA

 Join our Mail list

Follow us on Facebook

Take Action to save InSite -- write the Prime Minister’s office and voice your opinions:


6:30PM -  May 17, 2011
SFU Woodwards
Suggested Donation - $10

To Register:

This May, the Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear the Federal Government's Appeal of the decision to allow the InSite supervised injection facility to continue to operate. On the evening of May 17th, join Pivot Legal Society,  the SFU Woodwards Community Engagement Office and moderator Donald MacPherson for a forum exploring what this case is all about and what the Supreme Court's decision will mean for people living with addictions and for the future of Canadian drug policy.

We will see footage straight from the courtroom in Ottawa. We will hear from Monique Pongracic-Speier, lawyer on the case and a representative from InSite.  Dr. Thomas Kerr of the Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Maxine Davis, Executive Director of the Dr. Peters Aids Foundation with offer an assessment of the health impacts of this decision.  Plaintiff Dean Wilson will reflect on his journey through the court process and Downtown Eastside activists Bud Osborn and Dave Murray will talk about what the fight for a legal supervised injection facility has meant to them and their community.


We at HCW have been committed to the cause of harm reduction since we formed the company 10 years ago. Our efforts have included working with the film Bevel Up, with Chee Mamuk around HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, and currently we are making a video with VANDU and VCH, as well as a presentatiion video for VCH Mental Health and Addictions. We've also made a couple fo short HCW videos featuring Donald MacPherson talking about his new initiative around drug policy discourse in Canada. For all these reasons we are hoping to build our network, through our work with Raw Opium to encourage and facilitate discussion around harm reduction, decrimininalization, and the connection of the drug war with the war in Afghanistan.

We take a human rights approach to this work and would love for you to join us!

MORE LINKS about InSite:

Insite on Wikipedia

Protect InSite

Friends of InSite on Facebook

News Articles from Lancet study


"Overdose deaths in Vancouver's troubled Downtown Eastside have dropped by more than a third since the creation of Insite, the neighbourhood's supervised injection clinic, according to a study in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Researchers with the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS studied the number of overdose deaths around the injection facility before and after its creation. Insite has operated since 2003 with exemptions from federal drug laws, first allowed by the former Liberal government."



Tag(s): Health/Health Advocacy, Harm Reduction, Raw Opium, Insite

Recent Blogs:
Recent Blogs by Katherine Dodds:
Subscribe to RSS Feed

Katherine Dodds AKA "Kat" is the founder of Good Company Communications and Trained in renegade advertising & branding through her work with Adbusters in the '90s, Kat's early induction into the possibilities of the web-world was inspired by the term hypertext, which she immediately found comforting. She is dedicated to cause-related communication and to the development and use of tools that promote democratic processes.


Support the Campaign #4Eva
USA | Canada


Follow us on Twitter Join us on Facebook Check our YouTube Channel Check our Vimeo Channel

©Copyright 2006 - 2014 Good Company Communications Inc · Contact Us · Privacy Policy