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Bevel Up - Drugs, Users and Outreach Nursing

Bevel Up - Drugs, Users and Outreach Nursing

| 45 min

Bevel Up follows street nurses as they reach out to people working in the sex trade, and people who use drugs in the alleys and hotels of Vancouver’s inner city. Most importantly the nurses reflect on the attitudes they bring to their work—attitudes that can make or break their relationships with the people to whom they provide practical, non-judgemental health care on a daily basis.

The Bevel Up Educational Playlists offer viewers a dynamic way to learn through more than four hours of additional footage, interviews and a Teachers Guide. The interactive resource gives students and instructors in the healthcare field access to the experiences of practitioners who work with people who use drugs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

For more information, images, and clips, click here.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised

  • director
    Nettie Wild
  • editor
    Michael Brockington
  • director of photography
    Kirk Tougas
  • producer
    Fiona Gold
    Juanita Maginley
    Betsy Carson
    Nettie Wild
    Svend-Erik Eriksen
  • executive producer
    Rina Fraticelli
  • production manager
    Betsy Carson
  • post supervisor
    Betsy Carson
  • DVD design
    Ian Kirby
    Caleb Bouchard
  • original concept
    Caroline Brunt
  • production team
    Caroline Brunt
    Fiona Gold
    Liz James
    Elaine Jones
    Janine Stevenson
  • location sound
    Jeff Henschel
    Jon Ritchie
    Kirk Tougas
  • additional cinematography
    Rolf Cutts
  • assistant editor
    Neil Thompson
    Erin Cummings
  • production assistant
    Carlo Bodrogi
  • transcription
    Trace Sitter
    Elaine Walkden
  • post-production facilities
    Finale Editworks
  • re-recording mixer
    Dean Giammarco
    Ewan Deane
  • sound editor
    Jeff Davis
    Christine McLeod
  • audio services
    DBC Sound Inc.
  • legal services
    Brahm Martz


Enjoy the NFB experience on your favourite device. 


Ages 15 to 18

Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Health/Personal Development - Careers & Education
Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Social Studies - Social Policies and Programs

Bevel Up addresses many key issues, including:

  • relational nursing and how to build trust with people who are marginalized because of drug use and addiction;
  • social policies that drive illicit drug use and increase harm to people who use drugs;
  • the social construction of addiction and the healthcare impact on people who use drugs;
  • harm-reduction policies and programs, including needle exchange, opioid replacement therapy and supervised injection;
  • approaches to addiction treatment in Canada as compared to other countries.

 Suggestions for viewing

 Here are some issues, questions and themes to reflect on while watching Bevel Up:

1.      The relational skills nurses use

  • Non-judgement, respect via choices and partnering, empathy, listening, humour, attending to relational power.

2.      The social policies related to criminalization of drugs

  • Forcing people to buy what they need in the black market, driving the “opioid crisis.”

3.      The social construction of addiction

  • What is addiction? What does it look like in people’s lives?
  • Why are some drugs and substances legal and others illegal?
  • Why are some “addictive-like” behaviours acceptable and others not?
  • How do our attitudes and beliefs around addiction impact our relationships with people who use drugs?

4.      Approaches to addiction treatment

  • How do different countries approach addiction treatment (methadone, opioid replacement, low-barrier needle exchange, access to supervised injection, decriminalization and regulation)?
  • How does addressing social determinants of health impact health (housing, poverty, social inclusion/stigma)?

Bevel Up - Drugs, Users and Outreach Nursing
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