Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Quantitative Health and Police Data Analyses

PI: Jurgen Rehm, Institute of Mental Health Policy Research, CAMH, ON

Working Group: Dr. Bernard Le Foll (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health); Dr. Tara Gomes (St. Michael’s Hospital); Dr. Amanda Slaunwhite (BC Centre for Disease Control); Dr. Heather Palis (BC Centre for Disease Control); Ms. Chloe Xavier (BC Centre for Disease Control); Ms. Taija McLuckie (AVI Health and Community Services)

To assess the impacts of decriminalization we are examining a variety of indicators over time using routinely collected provincial (BC-specific) and National statistics. These statistics will be assessed on an annual or bi-annual basis, based on availability, starting with ten years prior to the implementation of the decriminalization policy (~2012). For each of the proposed indicators outlined below, data will be analyzed using interrupted time series (ITS) modeling which will determine changes in these indicators over time from pre-decriminalization to post-decriminalization. The following indicators will be examined:


  • Emergency Room (ER)/Hospitalizations for illicit substance use
  • Harm Reduction service visits
  • Overdose calls to paramedics
  • Overdose deaths
  • Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) engagement/prescriptions
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD) diagoses
  • Substance use patterns and trends
  • Quality of life 
  • Number of seizures, arrests, charges, and criminal records for personal possession, trafficking, and drug-adjacent crimes (e.g., public drug use) 
  • Number of other serious crimes
  • Police and court time and resources spent on enforcement or prosecution of personal possession of illicit substances