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Alberta government report on safe consumption ‘pseudoscience,’ says medical journal

A paper in a prominent medical journal says an Alberta government report that influenced safe drug consumption policy is so badly flawed it’s harming people and should be withdrawn.

The paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health calls the government’s 2019 report into seven supervised consumption sites pseudoscience.

It says the United Conservative-commissioned report is biased in three major ways, all of which distort its findings against such sites. 

It points out the government study was not peer-reviewed, unlike the journal article. 

Lead author Ginetta Salvalaggio from the University of Alberta, one of 14 co-authors, says the government’s paper has been cited widely by opponents of safe injection sites despite its weakness. 

She calls the report “creating evidence” and says there are real dangers to basing decisions on bad data.  

Salvalaggio points out that 2023 is shaping up to be the deadliest year on record for opioid poisoning in Alberta. 

A spokesperson for Alberta Health was not immediately available for comment.

The Canadian Press