Keeping the Door Open: Dialogues on Drug Use is a community coalition based in Vancouver, Canada, that convenes public dialogues on the range of issues associated with problematic substance use in order to advance the public discussion and inform public policy about this complicated and often heart-wrenching issue.
Keeping the Door Open (KDO) brings together local, national and international speakers to share their personal stories and to present innovative, evidence-informed research to stimulate engaged discussion at a venue purposefully designed for respectful and effective dialogue. With many allies, including people who use drugs, we seek to stimulate public discourse on the efficacy of our current policies, explore alternatives and prevent and reduce the harms associated with problematic substance use.
KDO contributes to our community, and to the national and international discourse on drug policy, by offering professionally facilitated public dialogues that offer research findings about addiction and substance use combined with first-hand personal stories to help us open our minds and hearts about this issue.
Through these dialogues we intend to reduce the stigma that this issue generates and which stops us from dealing with it in a pragmatic and compassionate manner based on scientific research. Many who experience chronic dependency on drugs are also affected by mental illness and similarly face uninformed attitudes and lack of adequate services and treatment.
Since September 2000, the public dialogues hosted by KDO have brought together people from all walks of life - people who use drugs, their family and friends, police officers, elected officials, business people and local residents - in order to exchange ideas and information about substance use in our communities.
The work of KDO has helped advance the public discussion about and understanding of addiction and contributed to the people of Vancouver deciding that the first legal supervised injection site in North America would open here in September 2003.