I am a medical anthropologist conducting research in Vancouver, Canada and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. My work in these settings has broadly focused on understanding the relationship between health and place among young people who use drugs in the margins of the city. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine (Division of Social Medicine) at UBC and an Associate Member of the Department of Anthropology. I am also a Research Scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, where I co-lead the Youth Health Research Program.
My current research, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, SickKids Foundation, and Vancouver Foundation, is focused on tracing the addiction treatment and care trajectories of young people in Greater Vancouver, as these youth navigate multiple systems of supervision and successive waves of public health emergency. This research is undertaken in partnership with Directions Youth Services and the At-Risk Youth Study (ARYS) Youth Advisory Committee.
Keywords: Adolescents and young adults, Substance use, Substance use care, Harm reduction, Cities, Space and place, Experimental methods, Community-based participatory action research
Paul B, Thulien M, Knight R, Milloy M-J, Howard B, Nelson S, Fast D (2020). “Something that actually works”: Cannabis use among young people in the context of street entrenchment. PLOS ONE 15(7):e0236243. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0236243
Giang V, Thulien M, McNeil R, Sedgemore K, Anderson H, & Fast D (2020). Opioid agonist therapy trajectories among street entrenched youth in the context of a public health crisis. SSM: Population Health 11: 100609. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmph.2020.100609
Fast D, Bukusi D, & Moyer E (2020). The knife’s edge: Masculinities and precarity in East Africa. Social Science & Medicine 258: 113097. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113097
Parent N, Ferlatte O, Milloy M-J, Fast D, & Knight R (2020). The sexualized use of cannabis among young sexual minority men: “I’m actually enjoying this for the first time”. Culture, Health & Sexuality. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2020.1736634
Goodyear T, Mniszak C, Jenkins E, Fast D, & Knight R (2020). “Am I going to get in trouble for acknowledging my will to be safe?”: Identifying the experiences of young sexual minority men and substance use in the context of the opioid overdose crisis. Harm Reduction Journal 17(23): 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00365-4
Knight R, Karamouzian M, Carson A, Edward J, Shoveller J, Carrieri M, Fairbairn N, Wood E, Fast D (2019). Interventions to address drug-related harms among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men who use methamphetamine: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 194: 410-429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.09.023
Pilarinos A, Kendall P, Fast D, DeBeck K (2018). Secure care: more harm than good [response to commentaries by Warshawski et al. and Clarke et al.]. CMAJ 190 (41): E1219-E1220. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.180700
Pilarinos A, Kendal P, Fast D, DeBeck K (2018). Resisting secure care: Why restricting the liberties of youth who use drugs can cause more harm than good. CMAJ 190: E1219-20. https//doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.180700
Fast D, Moyer E (2018). Becoming and coming undone in the margins of Dar es Salaam. Africa Today 64 (3): 2-26. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/africatoday.64.3.01
Fast D, Cunningham D (2018). We don’t belong there: New geographies of homelessness, addiction and social control in Vancouver’s inner city. City & Society 30 (2): 237-262. https//doi.org/10.1111/cisco.12177
Fast D (2017). Dream homes and dead ends in the city: A photo essay experiment. Sociology of Health & Illness 39 (7): 1134-1148. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12563
Bozinoff N, Long C, DeBeck K, Small W, Fast D (2017). Still ‘at risk’: An examination of how street involved youth understand, experience and engage with harm reduction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. International Journal of Drug Policy 45: 33-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.006
Knight R, Fast D, DeBeck K, Shoveller J, Small W (2017). ‘Getting out of downtown’: A longitudinal study of how street-entrenched youth attempt to exit an inner city drug scene. BMC Public Health 17 (376). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4313-9
Fast D, Shoveller J, and Kerr T (2017). The material, moral and affective worlds of drug dealing and crime among young men entrenched in an inner city drug scene. International Journal of Drug Policy 44: 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.01.003
Boyd J, Fast D, Small W (2015). Pathways to criminalization for street-involved youth who use illicit substances. Critical Public Health 26 (5). http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/09581596.2015.1110564.
Fast D (2014). Mapping senses of place in an urban drug scene [photo essay]. Medicine Anthropology Theory 1 (1): 180-188. https://doi.org/10.17157/mat.1.1.209
Fast D, Small W, Wood E, Kerr T (2014). The multiple truths about crystal meth among young people entrenched in an urban drug scene: A longitudinal ethnographic investigation. Social Science & Medicine 110: 41-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.03.029
Fast D, Shoveller J, Small W, Kerr T (2013). Did somebody say community? Young people’s critiques of conventional community narratives in the context of a local drug scene. Human Organization 72 (2): 98-110. https://doi.org/10.17730/humo.72.2.86005462778382u2
Fast D, Small W, Krüsi A, Wood E, Kerr T (2010). ‘I guess my own fancy screwed me over’: Transitions in drug use and the context of choice among young people entrenched in an open drug scene. BMC Public Health 10 (126): 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-10-126
Fast D, Shoveller J, Shannon K, Kerr T (2010). Safety and danger in downtown Vancouver: Understandings of place among young people entrenched in an urban drug scene. Health & Place 16 (1): 51-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.07.004
Krüsi A, Fast D, Small W, Wood E, Kerr T (2010). Social and structural barriers to housing among street-involved youth who use illicit drugs. Health & Social Care in the Community 18 (3): 282-288. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2524.2009.00901.x
Small W, Fast D, Krüsi A, Wood E, Kerr T (2009). Social influences upon injection initiation among street-involved youth in Vancouver, Canada: A qualitative study. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 4 (8): 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1747-597X-4-8
Fast D, Small W, Wood E, Kerr T (2009). Coming ‘down here’: Young people’s reflections on becoming entrenched in a local drug scene. Social Science & Medicine 69 (8): 1204-1210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.07.024
Fast D, Small W, Wood E, Kerr T (2008). The perspectives of injection drug users regarding safer injecting education delivered through a supervised injecting facility. Harm Reduction Journal 5 (32): 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7517-5-32
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award (2018-2023)
I am recruiting Master’s and Doctoral students at this time.