News

New on-demand addiction treatment clinic opens in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
February 27, 2017 | Vancouver Coastal Health

Vancouver, BC – For some, the decision to stop the cycle of substance use needs to be acted on immediately, or the opportunity is lost. Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is opening a new clinic to catch people in that moment so they can walk in off the street, start treatment, and turn their lives around. “Addiction is not a moral choice. It’s not a matter of will power,” said Health...
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Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society peer-driven research helping to bridge knowledge gaps
April 12, 2016 | BC-CfE

Located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, many have found welcome at the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society (WAHRS), where groundbreaking research is helping to rewrite our understanding of substance use and addiction. Members are current or former illicit drug and/or illicit alcohol users from diverse Indigenous backgrounds....
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Open letter: Displacing Hastings Street vendors is social cleansing
December 2, 2015 | The Georgia Straight

Beginning on November 13, an increased police presence around the unit block of East Hastings Street has deterred people from street vending in the area. The following is an open letter written in response to that action taken by the city. We, the undersigned, call on the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police Department to immediately stop the displacement, criminalization, and harassment...
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Downtown Eastside residents march in solidarity with Unist’ot’en Camp
August 19, 2015 | The Mainlander

On Friday, August 14th, the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society (WAHRS) held a rally and picket to support the Unist’ot’en Camp. The camp, located on unceded Wet’suwet’en Territory, has been under increasing pressure this summer with repeated attempts to survey traditional lands for the TransCanada pipeline. Downtown Eastside (DTES) residents and VANDU members joined the rally...
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“We are human beings with heart and potential” – A message from Indigenous drug users to the medical profession: By Jean Swanson
June 27, 2015 | The Volcano

The Volcano interviewed Tracey Morrison, President of Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. WAHRS is a group of current and former illicit drug and/or alcohol users.* Volcano: Tell us about the research you’re so enthusiastic about. Tracey: The story begins with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV and AIDS. They are indigenizing our...
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Talking Circles used for healing and HIV research in Downtown Eastside
April 1, 2015 | Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

A peer-led community-based research project in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, supported by the Wall Solutions Initiative, is working to address the health needs of Aboriginal people who use illicit alcohol and drugs. A 2013 report by the British Columbia Ministry of Health indicates that Aboriginal people, who represent three per cent of the overall Canadian population, are far...
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