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March-April 2018

Meet Canada’s organ transplant advocate for those living with addiction

After her husband died in 2010, Debra Selkirk made it her mission to help those deemed ineligible for transplants

Carine Abouseif

One Friday in late January, a photo on Facebook had Debra Selkirk in tears. Weeks earlier, she’d received a desperate email from a woman in the U.S. The woman’s 30-year-old sister needed a new liver, but she had to be alcohol-free for six months before she could get a transplant. The question was: Did she […] More »
January-February 2018

The first step to tackling Canada’s opioid crisis? Understanding addiction

The roots of why people become addicted must be tackled to find lasting solutions

Tracy Giesz-Ramsay

Pacing frantically around her living room, Audrey yelled at herself in frustration: “Just put down the fucking phone!” It was mid-February and, having been sober since New Year’s Day, Audrey, 35, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, decided to see a show with friends at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. After getting ready […] More »
May-June 2017

PHOTO ESSAY: The faces behind Vancouver’s overdose crisis

Photojournalist Aaron Goodman provides an inside look at one woman's struggle with addiction on the west coast

Aaron Goodman@aaronjourno

In 2014–15, Aaron Goodman documented three drug users participating in a study to assess longer-term opioid medication effectiveness—the first heroin-assisted treatment research of its kind in North America. The collected photos and reflections formed the Outcasts Project, which aims to humanize addiction. Goodman, a PhD candidate in communication studies at Concordia University, sought to amplify […] More »
May-June 2017

The radical change Vancouver activists say will end the country’s opioid crisis

Despite government harm-reduction efforts, Vancouver remains the epicentre of Canada’s overdose crisis. Now, activists say the only solution is legalizing opioids

Malone Mullin@4evamalone

Except for a long line at the barbecue, where hungry older folk wait for a free meal, most people have left Oppenheimer Park for the day. But not Jim McLeod, who’s clutching a hot dog wrinkled with the cold, so engrossed in telling me his story that he’s forgotten about his dinner. It’s late February […] More »

Ethics Test: Should you give change to panhandlers? We asked the experts

This Magazine Staff

By Mary Dirmeitis and Megan Harris You’re walking down the street when you see a panhandler on the sidewalk, holding out a cup for passersby to give change. You can feel the loonie in your pocket left over from the coffee you bought earlier — but do you give it to the person? If you live […] More »
November-December 2009

Supervised injection sites work—but the feds still don’t get it

Sukaina Hirji

Despite ongoing efforts by the Harper government to shut it down, Insite, the Vancouver-based supervised-injection site, is alive and thriving, with over 10,000 registered users and around 800 daily visitors. To Mark Townsend, an Insite representative, it’s a success story that needs to be replicated in other cities. Established in 2003 as a scientific research […] More »

Wednesday WTF: Swine-flu freakout's unintended consequence: hand-sanitizer addiction

meagan thibeault

First, mothers were warned to be watchful of their curious children around the potentially poisonous product; and now, store owners and homeless shelters are being urged to keep an eye out for clientele who may be abusing it. The culprit: common hand sanitizers, which have been saturating not only our hands, but also store shelves […] More »