This time, DFA's ally the Drug Prevention Network of Canada (DPNC) critiqued a peer-reviewed study published in Lancet that had demonstrated significantly reduced overdose deaths from illegal drugs in Insite's local area. This was unacceptable to the prohibitionists. Their critique, which was not peer-reveiwed, claimed the original Lancet study was flawed and denied that the centre had saved lives, a claim DFA had also made in Kings Cross. This is remarkable as what these centres DO is professionally treat people who have overdosed, immediately and on site. Getting to the OD victims so quickly means nearly all can be treated simply with oxygen.
It's a bit like saying that people who suffer heart attacks in an emergency ward have worse outcomes than those who have heart attacks at home.
Now the critique itself has been critiqued, and found wanting. The response, by the authors of the original study, maps the many flaws in the DPNC work, starting with the following:
Using BC Vital Statistics data, they argue that overdose deaths increased rather than decreased during the period considered in our study. This apparent discrepancy is explained by several flaws in their analysis. First, our study in the Lancet focused on a defined area of interest in close proximity to Insite that included 41 city blocks... However, the data considered in the... DPNC report examined the entire Downtown Eastside Local Health Area (LHA)—an area that is much larger and includes approximately 400 city blocks.That's comparing 400 city blocks with 41, a 10x difference. If you ignore the tyranny of distance you can come up with all sorts of wonderful conclusions. The DNPC critique seems to assume that addicts will travel up to 200 blocks or more before they inject. From what I've seen, addicts desperate for a hit can't wait to inject - in Kings Cross they almost run to the MSIC the second they score.
And that's only point 1.
I won't quote the whole document here - if you want to read the full story you can download the easy-to-read 5-page pdf at the link above or, for your convenience, here. If DFA or its allies have a credible rebuttal to this rebuttal, feel free to comment. They seem to have gone pretty quiet on this one though.