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Youth Injection Prevention Project

The YIP (Youth Injection Prevention) Project is a collaborative study that aims to identify the factors associated with preventing the transition into injection drug use (IDU) among street-involved youth in Metro Vancouver. While many studies focus on risk factors leading to drug use, the YIP Project also focuses on factors that promote resiliency to enable at-risk youth to avoid IDU. 

Valentine's Day 2010

Phase 1 of the YIP Project involved interviews with service providers for at-risk youth. The results of these interviews and a review of current literature were used to develop the interview and focus group guides for Phase 2.

Phase 2 consisted of one-on-one and group interviews with at-risk youth between the ages of 15 and 24, facilitated by youth co-researchers who were trained during the pilot phase of the project.

Youth Co-researchers

Identified resilience factors in Phases 1 and 2 include: community and family support; self-esteem and personal values; fear of needles; a sense of responsibility; culture and identity; family drug use; and a desire for a better life. The study highlights the importance of intervention strategies that build youth capacity and resilience through job training, education, community involvement and recreation, among others.

“I think I can be better... I want to go back to school and go to try to keep busy and stay off of it...My family, they can support me and stuff and I think I’m strong.”
  – Participant

Phase 3 of the YIP Project is underway now. In collaboration with the McCreary Society, the youth co-researchers are now preparing and sharing the findings from the workshops at knowledge-exchange focus groups across BC. Workshops have already been piloted in Vancouver, and soon will take place in Interior Health, Fraser Health, Vancouver Island Health, and Northern Health. Additionally, two manuscripts are in the works to be peer reviewed and published in academic journals. 

“For me it was my culture. Growing up on reserve...Sad to see a lot of my friends into that stuff and my culture really helped me through.”
 – Participant

The YIP Project is a collaboration between the UBC School of Population and Public Health, the UBC School of Nursing, the BCCDC and community partners. It was funded by UBC, the Vancouver Foundation, and the BC Centre for Disease Control. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), and the CIHR/MSFHR Bridge Strategic Training Program provided research stipends for team members.

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'How To' - Involving Experiential Youth in Qualitative Research

Bring'in It Back:
Results from the YIP Project