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Overdose: Benjamin Perrin & Gabor Maté in conversation about Canada's Opioid Crisis

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
7:00pm to 8:15pm

Live Webinar


Banyen Books & Word Vancouver host Benjamin Perrin and Gabor Maté in conversation about Canada's opioid crisis and Perrin's new book, Overdose.

North America is in the middle of a health emergency. Someone is dying every two hours in Canada from illicit drug overdose. Fentanyl has become a looming presence—an opioid more powerful, pervasive, and deadly than any previous street drug. 

The victims are many—and often not whom we might expect. Despite the thousands of deaths, these victims have remained largely invisible. But not anymore. In Overdose, Perrin shines a light on the crisis–and his findings challenge many assumptions.

Why do people use drugs despite the risk of overdosing? Can we crack down on the fentanyl supply? Do supervised consumption sites and providing “safe drugs” enable the problem? Which treatments work? Would decriminalizing all drugs help or do further harm? These and other urgent questions will be discussed.

Overdose makes a crucial contribution to the national debate on how we deal with illicit drugs in our society."

~ Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation

Benjamin Perrin is a professor at the University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of Law. He served as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, and was the lead justice and public safety advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada from 2012-13. Professor Perrin was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his significant contributions to Canada. He is the author of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking, which was a national bestseller and named one of the top books of the year by The Globe and Mail, and Victim Law: The Law of Victims of Crime in Canada. His new book Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada's Opioid Crisis has been shortlisted for numerous 2021 awards, including two Hubert Evans prizes for non-fiction.

Gabor Maté is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The bestselling author of four books published in 27 languages, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. His book on addiction received the Hubert Evans Prize for literary non-fiction. For his groundbreaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. His books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction; When the Body Says No; Scattered Minds; and (with Gordon Neufeld) Hold on to Your Kids.