On this episode of our Below the Radar Conversations Series, our host Am Johal is joined by Ann Livingston, community organizer and drug user activist. Ann is the co-founder of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, and is currently the Executive Project Coordinator of the BC-Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors. Am and Ann discuss the two current public health emergencies: the COVID-19 pandemic and the fentanyl contamination deaths in BC.Ann Livingston is a community organizer, who works to improve access to citizenship for people who use illegal drugs. After co-founding the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) in 1998, she was employed as VANDU’s executive program director for 10 years. Ann organized with PWUD to form several drug users’ groups including the BC Association of People on Opiate Maintenance, the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, the BC Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors & the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs. Ann has advised the Vancouver Injection Drug User Survey, the NAOMI & SALOME Heroin Trials, BCCSU and the City of Vancouver. Ann was central in ensuring the policy of 1-for-1 Needle Exchange become Needle Distribution & Collection as well as seeding drug user groups for people who smoke crack, people who drink illegal alcohol, women who use drugs and survivors of the heroin prescription programs. Ann has opened 4 unsanctioned overdose prevention sites. She is the Executive Project Coordinator of BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors.
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