'Injecting Hope' | Watch documentary on innovative program tackling drug overdose, fentanyl epidemic

Watch the ABC7 Originals documentary, "Injecting Hope," streaming now in the video player below.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023
'Injecting Hope' | Watch documentary
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ABC7's Injecting Hope looks at an innovative program in Canada that is saving lives by giving users a safe place to get high.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A drug overdose crisis is sweeping across North America. Cities big and small are struggling to find ways to solve the problem, and it is only getting worse as fentanyl, a powerful opioid, infiltrates the streets.

In 2021, in San Francisco alone, fentanyl was responsible for 75% of all drug overdose deaths.

Could the answer to reducing those lost lives be just over the United States border in Vancouver, Canada?

ABC7 Originals documentary, "Injecting Hope" takes viewers onto the streets of Vancouver to see how safe consumption sites, sometimes called safe injection sites, are saving lives amid the worst drug overdose crisis North America has ever seen.

TOWN HALL: In-depth look at how Vancouver is dealing with drug overdose crisis

From the mayor's office to the alleys of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, ABC7 News reporter Tara Campbell meets those trying to solve the drug overdose crisis and those caught in addiction.

We hit the streets, speaking with drug users in alleys and parks, including a former mechanic who was prescribed oxycodone for a work-related injury - now addicted to fentanyl. We also talk to a young man helping a friend shoot up, who shares his own challenges in trying to get off street drugs and a gang member who's been on the streets since his teens reveals a handful of scars from gunshot wounds - still numbing the pains of the past with opioids.

We meet a mother in recovery who narrowly escaped death and a former drug user who once sold her body to feed her addiction - now helping those in treatment. She shares her story, including the moment she saved her former pimp's life. And, one man describes his journey to recovery after accessing Insite more than 4,000 times.

VIDEO: ABC7 reporter Tara Campbell joins 3 p.m. to discuss documentary 'Injecting Hope'

Insite's senior manager answers hard questions about the impact it's had on drug users and the city as a whole since its establishment in 2003. While a veteran of the Vancouver Police Department walks us through the streets of the Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood mirroring San Francisco's Tenderloin District, describing what's working and what's not - in the face deadliest overdose crisis North America's ever seen.

Watch the ABC7 Originals documentary, "Injecting Hope," streaming now in the video player above.

Or download the ABC7 Bay Area streaming app on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV or AndroidTV now to watch the full documentary.