The Times podcast: A visit to Vancouver’s safe injection site

A person injects fentanyl into their arm
Someone injects fentanyl at a Vancouver safe injection site, where people can take drugs with clean needles.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Overdose deaths in the United States have risen rapidly during the pandemic. It’s a trend driven largely by the spread of fentanyl.


In California, the push to save lives and stop the fallout has led some activists and politicians to propose safe injection sites — places where people can take drugs with clean needles, without fear of arrest. There’s already one site like this operating in San Francisco.

But in Vancouver, Canada, there’s a neighborhood that has hosted a safe injection site for almost 20 years. In today’s episode, we go visit it.

Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guest: L.A. Times columnist Anita Chabria

More reading:

Column: Vancouver’s safe drug-use sites are wrenching to see. California should open them anyway

In a bid to stop overdose deaths, California could allow drug use at supervised sites


With overdose deaths rising, here’s how to test drugs for fentanyl

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers David Toledo, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineers are Mario Diaz and Mark Nieto. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.