How do the United States’ responses to drug use stack up when compared with Canada, Australia and Europe? A recent HuffPost Live discussion hosted by Ricky Camilleri (‘How Does the Rest of the World Treat Addiction’) made clear that while the US is showing promising signs of change, much remains to do to bring the country into line with global leaders such as Portugal, Switzerland, Canada and Australia. The panel included a range of experts from around the world including SSAC’s program leader and co-author of the new book, Habits: Remaking Addiction, Associate Professor Suzanne Fraser. Other contributors were: Kerry Jang (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) City Council Member, Vancouver, British Columbia; Advocate of Vancouver’s Insite Supervised Injection Site; Eugene Jarecki (Los Angeles , CA) Director of ‘The House I Live In’; Award-Winning Filmmaker and Author; Nicolas Clark (Geneva, Switzerland) Medical Officer, Management of Substance Abuse, World Health Organization; Marie Nougier (London, United Kingdom) Senior Research Officer, International Drug Policy Consortium.
The panel discussed incarceration rates in the US and the economic forces attached to the privatisation of prisons that lead to over sentencing for minor drug offences, Australia’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre – the first supervised injecting facility (SIF) in the English-speaking world; Vancouver’s SIF, Insite, the provision of opioid pharmacotherapy for heroin addiction around the world, and the possibility of turning to the provision of heroin instead in the future. To go directly to SSAC’s Suzanne Fraser’s contribution, scroll to 19:50.