Gwyneth Boone is a health-communications professional with training in neuroscience and psychology. She is currently a participant in the Certificate in Health Impact program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
Unlike mainstream health-care providers, harm reduction workers do not have benefits like danger pay or strong unions to support them. With jobs characterized by low wages, stigma and political red-tape, overworked harm reduction professionals are seeing burnout on the front lines.
A wave of benzodiazepines is adulterating Toronto’s illegal opioid market, raising risks for users, complicating the fight against the opioid crisis, and imposing extra burdens on a COVID-stretched emergency response system.