Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 6, pp 431–434 | Cite as

Illicit IV Drugs

A Public Health Approach
  • Mark HadenEmail author


This article explores, from a public health perspective, the harm done by Canadian drug laws, to both individuals and society. It challenges the perceived dichotomy of legalization and criminalization of intravenous drugs. The article then expands the discussion by exploring eight legal options for illicit drugs and examines how these options interact with the marginalization of users, the illicit drug black market, and levels of drug consumption. While the main focus of this article is intravenous drugs, it draws some lessons from cannabis research.


Cet article analyse, d’un point de vue de santé publique, les dommages causés aux particuliers et à la société par les lois canadiennes sur les drogues. Il met en question la dichotomie perçue entre la légalisation et la criminalisation des drogues injectées. De plus, l’article analyse huit scénarios juridiques à l’égard des drogues illicites et examine l’effet possible de chaque scénario sur la marginalisation des utilisateurs, le marché noir de la drogue et les niveaux de consommation. Bien que l’article traite surtout des drogues injectées, certaines de ses conclusions proviennent de la recherche sur le cannabis.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Addiction ServicesVancouver Coastal Health AuthorityCanada

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