As an outreach worker in Thunder Bay, Kyle Lees actively engages with drug users, in an effort to keep them safe. He says there's a opiate crisis in the city, and it's bad.

There are times in health policy debates when you can have the scientific evidence, the health experts and even law enforcement in your corner but still face an irrational resistance to change.

All Canadians, including those in prison, deserve to benefit from an evidence-based approach to the opioid crisis.

Ottawa says it has no plans to consider decriminalizing hard drugs, such as heroin, despite calls from local politicians, health officials and experts who argue such radical action is needed to combat the overdose epidemic that first hit British Columbia and is now a national crisis.

Sparked by a spate of overdose deaths of young people, there is currently a debate about establishing a ‘drug consumption room’ (DCR) in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Richmond. The move follows state MP Fiona Patten introducing a bill in February in the Victorian Parliament for an Australian trial of such a facility.

A ground-breaking review provides stark evidence of the damage criminalisation has on preventing and treating HIV among people who inject drugs

Doctors tell of understaffed services, with patients missing hospital appointments due to clerical errors or lack of escort

In recent years across B.C., a public-health tragedy has resulted in thousands of preventable deaths from street drugs containing powerful opioids such as fentanyl or its analogs.

On Wednesday afternoons, Michael Page and Hyun Namkoong load up a gray, nondescript minivan with short and long syringes, cotton balls, alcohol swabs, tourniquets, hazardous waste disposal cups, condoms, water bottles, granola bars and doses of an overdose reversal drug called naloxone.

HIV-related stigma and discrimination refers to prejudice, negative attitudes and abuse directed at people living with HIV and AIDS. In 35% of countries with available data, over 50% of people report having discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV.

Under international laws, cultivation, supply and possession of cannabis should be allowed only for ‘medical and scientific purposes’. In general, possession of the drug for personal use should be a crime, to deter use, and most countries make this punishable by imprisonment. In recent years, however, several jurisdictions have reduced their penalties for cannabis users, and some have permitted supply of the drug, allowing us to observe different control models and their consequences. Policy discussions are complicated by conflicting claims — decriminalisation or legalisation, medical or recreational use, policy success or failure — and this page aims to clarify some issues.

Drug-related deaths are rising and are a major concern to councils and our health partners. Deaths have increased sharply over the past five years and are now at their highest levels since records began.

A new trial has launched in England for HIV-preventing drugs. Should you be taking them? Where are they available? Here’s what you need to know.

Last year saw the highest number of drug-related deaths since records began in 1993. More than half of these deaths involved an opiate, such as heroin. Those aged 40 to 49 made up the largest group dying as a result of drug poisoning. Compared with the general population, this group is dying decades before they should.

The Australian government has listed yet another drug to cure hepatitis C on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The drug Epclusa® – a combination of sofosbuvir 400mg and velpatasvir 100mg – is the first of the direct-acting antiviral treatments effective for all types of the disease. It will cost most patients A$38.80, and A$6.30 for concession card holders. Before the PBS listing, the cost exceeded A$20,000.

More people are smoking weed these days, sparking a haze of complications and confusion in the workplace.

On May 31st, the AP announced over 200 changes to their Stylebook – including some guidance on how to write about addiction. Words like ‘addict’ and ‘abuser’ were to be avoided and replaced with more person-first and less pejorative language. Many have lauded this move as a step in the right direction- to help increase compassion and understanding for people who struggle with their substance use.

Evaluating drug policy is an integral part of a cost-efficient approach to tackle illicit drugs. This report takes a first step towards a systematic analysis, by examining a set of representative attempts to estimate public expenditure on supply reduction interventions. It proposes a common set of definitions, aiming to establish a common basis for understanding this topic and facilitating comparability in three main dimensions: time, policy and countries. Although it is mainly confined to supply reduction expenditures, in order to set the context, it describes the proportion that total drug-related expenditure represents of national public spending and; presents the balance between demand and supply reduction spending for a number of European countries. Finally, with the aim of facilitating and promoting future empirical expenditure studies and of setting the ground for the development of good practices, relevant data sources and methodologies applied are listed and discussed and examples of sectorial models of public spending are selectively provided.

UNAIDS has welcomed the launch of the End AIDS Coalition (EAC) during the 9th International AIDS Conference on HIV Science taking place in Paris, France. The EAC brings together a strong collaboration of leading AIDS experts, scientists, clinicians, policy-makers, faith leaders, business leaders and activists determined to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

Another death overnight has been attributed to the ‘synthetic cannabis crisis’ tearing through Auckland and New Zealand at large. But the situation isn’t as clear as it seems, the Drug Foundation’s Ross Bell tells Don Rowe, and hard facts are few and far between.