This study was Toronto’s first ever project focused entirely on crack use. Researchers conducted 17 focus groups and handed out surveys to 108 users to learn why they used crack and how they felt about treatment services. Users most often turned to crack as a coping mechanism. They faced health issues including HIV/AID, self-loathing, and suicidal thoughts. Social issues included police harassment, poverty/homelessness, and violence. The researchers recommend that service agencies work together to increase access to treatment services and reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with crack users. After completing the project, researchers held a press conference to release their findings which resulting in two articles in the Toronto Star.
Toronto Crack Users Perspectives: Inside, Outside, Upside Down
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Principal Organization: The South Riverdale Community Health Centre
Principal Investigator: Raffi Balian