A couple uses heroin at a makeshift safe injection site erected in Whalley last month.

Health emergency in Surrey

Supervised safe injection sites save the lives of addicts.

In writing about supervised injection sites, reporter Kevin Diakiw was correct in saying that most observers agree that the data coming out of the evaluation of Vancouver’s Insite looks promising. (“Surrey at a crossroads,” The Leader, Aug. 3). However, some might consider that to be an understatement.

So who supports supervised injection sites after seeing the research conducted on Insite? The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Association of Nurses, the Canadian Public Health Association, and of course the Supreme Court of Canada all support supervised injection sites.

The Supreme Court justices ruled 9-0 in favour of the continued operation of Insite, noting: “Insite has been proven to save lives with no discernible negative impact on the public safety and health objectives of Canada?”

Sadly, some commentators who appear to lack the expertise to interpret or conduct such research have misrepresented the findings in an effort to focus attention elsewhere.

Surrey is in the midst of a public health emergency stemming from substance use and overdose. It is clear that a comprehensive response, which includes recovery-focused addiction treatment, is needed.

However, that should not preclude us from immediately implementing interventions, such as supervised injection sites, which have been proven to save lives and promote engagement in addiction treatment.


Dr. Thomas Kerr

Professor of Medicine, University of B.C.

Director, Urban Health Research Initiative

BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Just Posted

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station upgrades completed

It’s the seventh station along Expo Line to see upgrades completed. Construction began in March 2017

Semiahmoo Trail students surpass Coldest Night fundraising goal

Rocco Forte and his team are third-year participants in Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year walk

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Surrey students learn the ins and outs of business through workers’ co-operative

Mentors work with youth in voluntary after-school program

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game in Langley

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Most Read