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Black History Month

Stop Ignoring Black Drug Policy Reformers (Filter Mag)

Last year, Filter Magazine published an article about the lack of Black representation in the Drug Policy Reform discussion: “The lack of discussion of Black overdose deaths in the national opioid discourse further marginalizes Black people, and is highly consistent with a history of framing the addictions of people of color as deserving of criminal […]

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Black Harm Reduction Today

A recent paper entitled “We know the streets:” race, place, and the politics of harm reduction” found: •”Harm reduction strategies have historically been unwelcomed in Black communities. •Peer- and street-based naloxone programs can penetrate underserved communities. •Peer programs can empower marginalized groups to combat race-based stereotypes. •Geographically and experientially derived credibility are key tools of […]

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It takes courage logo.

It Takes Courage

It Takes Courage is an initiative of ACCHO (African Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario) that launched in 2017 and aims to address HIV stigma in Black communities in Ontario. Stigma related to drug use and HIV status keeps people disconnected and alone. Show your courage to end HIV stigma in Black communities. Watch:

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BlackCAP on Black Harm Reduction

The Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (BlackCAP) is a Toronto-based AIDS Service Organization serving Black communities and that also houses a Harm Reduction program. According to BlackCAP: Substance use is a widespread issue in Toronto’s African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities. Adults and youth in our community are engaged in high-risk activities that also place […]

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A photo of a prison cell with a red, yellow, and green overlay.

The increased risk of HIV for people experiencing incarceration

Black people are over represented in prison populations in Canada in part due to drug prohibition laws that are disproportionately applied to Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Incarceration can greatly increase the risk of contracting HIV and Hep C. From the Ontario HIV Treatment Network’s Inside & Out study: HIV is both a sexually […]

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Metal handcuffs with a red, yellow, and green overlay.

Ontario Human Rights Commission: Black people bear a disproportionate burden of law enforcement

The outcome of drug prohibition and criminalization has disproportionately impacted Black communities in Canada. A recent Ontario Human Right’s Commission report found that although Black people make up only 8.8% of the population in Toronto, they represented almost 32% of people charged. This is true also in the case of drug-related charges, from the report:  […]

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Watch: The War on Drugs is Racist to the Core (Vice)

From Vice: In the US, African-Americans are incarcerated at five times the rate of white people – with over half sentenced for drug crimes. This is not a bug of the War on Drugs, it’s a feature. Since their earliest beginnings, drug laws have been explicitly built around targeting ethnic minorities. We trace this horrifying […]

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A view of Toronto city with the CN tower in the centre and a red, yellow, and green overlay.

Racism and Canadian Drug Policy (Harm Reduction TO)

Much of the information available online about the War on Drugs and it’s disproportionate impact on Black communities is in regards to the United States, however Canada too has a troubling history of it’s own War on Drugs with origins rooted in racism. Harm Reduction TO outlines the Canadian history of racist drug policy on […]

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We are the drug policy alliance logo.

Paula Santiago: A Harm Reduction Trailblazer (Drug Policy Alliance)

Writing for the Drug Policy Alliance’s blog in 2016, policy associate Kristen May writes on the legacy of Black-latino Harm Reduction and HIV support trailblazer Paula Santiago. In 1987, Paula formed New York City’s first HIV-positive support group for homeless youth as an organizer with Streetworks, a drop-in center for homeless youth on the Lower […]

Read more about Paula Santiago: A Harm Reduction Trailblazer (Drug Policy Alliance)
Asphalt with cracks and a boot print.

Racially Coded Language Hurts Everyone who Struggles with Addiction (Drug Policy Alliance)

In 2014, the New York Times ran an article titled Addicted on Staten Island which stated, among other things, that “across the country, one of the most significant social shifts of the 21st century has been the migration of drug use from centers of urban poverty to places that are suburban, white and middle- or […]

Read more about Racially Coded Language Hurts Everyone who Struggles with Addiction (Drug Policy Alliance)