Injection booths at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, the first hospital in Canada to offer an overdose prevention site in-house, May 6, 2022. Vancouver has taken harm reduction to a new level in an effort to address the growing toxicity of street drugs.

San Francisco saved Maia Szalavitz’s life.

In 1986, when she was a twenty-something injecting cocaine and heroin in New York, a visitor from San Francisco taught her how to clean dirty needles using a bleach solution. Szalavitz credits this simple innovation with protecting her during an AIDS epidemic that killed many drug users.

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Gil Duran is editorial page editor of The Examiner. @gilduran76