Drug policy researchers, academics, doctors descend on Vancouver

Canadian premiere of the film DOSED screens at the Vogue on Oct. 7

Drugs, doses and decriminalization will be on the docket in Vancouver next week.  

It all kicks off with the Canadian premiere of the film DOSED on Monday, Oct. 7 at the Vogue Theatre. The documentary follows a Vancouver woman on the verge of suicide who seeks out “underground healers” in an attempt to address her depression, anxiety, PTSD and opioid addiction with magic mushrooms and iboga.

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The film is set almost entirely in Vancouver and includes appearances by researchers and experts in the field of psychedelics: Dr. Gabor Maté, Dr. Rosalind Watts, Rick Doblin, Mark Haden, Trevor Millar and Dr. Ingrid Pacey.

Millar spoke to the Courier in late 2017 about ibogaine therapy and its use to treat those with alcohol and drug addictions.

Research out of the U.K. published in early October 2017 suggests psilocybin can help re-wire brain chemistry in those living with depression and addiction. Researchers in Canada and the U.S. are currently investigating MDMA, commonly referred to as ecstasy, as a supplemental treatment for PTSD.

The B.C. Centre on Substance Use will apply to Health Canada next year to begin clinical trials to evaluate psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for opioid use disorder. The goal is to establish a psychedelics research lab B.C. to evaluate the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics for treating substance use disorders and other mental illnesses.

More than 1,450 people have died from a drug overdose in Vancouver between 2013 and June 2019.

The films’ premiere will be followed by an expert panel and audience Q&A led by Millar, filmmakers Tyler Chandler and Nicholas Meyers, members of the cast and those in the psychedelic research community.

More info is online HERE.

Meanwhile, French researcher Marie Jauffret-Roustide will be at St. Paul’s Hospital on Tuesday, Oct. 8 to lead a discussion entitled “Contemporary issues in drug policies: A comparison between Europe and North America.”

Jauffret-Roustide will analyze three contemporary issues affecting both North America and Europe: the opioid crisis, the creation of drug consumption rooms and emerging modes of political cannabis regulation.

Jauffret-Roustide is a leading researcher at Inserm, an academic research institution in Paris. She recently received a grant for a comparative research program between France and the U.S. and is considering including Canada. Jauffret-Roustide’s research focuses mainly on harm reduction policies as well as cannabis use and regulation policies.

“Anti-prohibition movements are growing in a number of large democratic states, pushing us to rethink our relationship to drugs, the status of these substances in society, and to create a new paradigm based on global social transformations,” notes a press release from event organizers.

Jauffret-Roustide’s discussion is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The event is sold out but can be streamed online HERE.

@JohnKurucz

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