Examples of Research on Addiction in Vancouver

Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME)
The Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME) is a clinical trial that tests alternative treatments for people with chronic heroin addiction who are not benefitting sufficiently from current known treatments. SALOME compares two similar medications – diacetylmorphine, the active ingredient of heroin, and HDM. This study will also test if those effectively treated with these two injectable medications can be successfully switched and retained to the oral formulations of the medications.

SEOSI – The Scientific Evaluation of Supervised Injecting
SEOSI – the Scientific Evaluation of Supervised Injecting – is a cohort study that began in 2003. SEOSI participants have been randomly recruited from Insite, Vancouver’s supervised injection facility, and form a representative sample of all Insite clients. Like other UHRI cohorts, SEOSI is a longitudinal study, meaning that it is made up of individuals who represent a larger specific population and who are tracked over time. After informed consent is obtained, each participant provides a blood sample and completes an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Participants return every six months for a follow-up interview and blood testing. The information collected through SEOSI relates primarily to the use of Insite and how the facility affects drug use practices such as syringe sharing, public drug use and other factors in participants’ lives that may compromise their health.

The At-Risk Youth Study
The At-Risk Youth Study (ARYS – pronounced ‘Arise’) began in late 2005 and, as its name suggests, is made up of youth aged 14 to 26. Youth can be defined as ‘at risk’ because of a variety of factors, including their socio-economic situation, mental or physical health, drug use, social or physical environment, or family situation.

The Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study (VIDUS)
The Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study (VIDUS) is UHRI’s longest-running cohort study. VIDUS participants, who number about 1500, have been followed since 1996 and were originally recruited through street outreach efforts. Every six months, VIDUS participants provide blood samples to be tested for HIV and hepatitis C, and they’re interviewed about their drug use patterns and practices, health status and access to health and social services, and interactions with the criminal justice system.

The Cedar Project
The Cedar Project is a community-based research initiative that addresses hepatitis C and HIV vulnerabilities among young Aboriginal people who use illicit drugs in three cities in British Columbia. On a global scale, the historical trauma associated with the process of colonizing Indigenous people is commonly considered to be the explanation for the profound health disparities they experience all over the world. To our knowledge, The Cedar Project is the first Indigenous “at-risk” young people’s cohort in North America.

The Hotel Study
The Hotel Study includes investigators from seven departments at UBC and Simon Fraser University. In order to understand the health concerns of tenants current living in single-room-occupancy hotels (SRO’s) in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside researchers conducted psychiatric assessments, neurological evaluations, MRIs and blood tests with 293 SRO hotel tenants who participated in the study over an average of two years.