Assistant Professor
Social Medicine
Research Interests:

Substance Use, Substance Use Care, Harm Reduction, Youth Health, Community-Based Participatory Action Research, Qualitative Methods, Arts-Based Methods, Medical Anthropology

Research Summary:

My research in Vancouver, Canada and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has broadly focused on understanding the relationship between health and place among young people who use drugs in the margins of the city.

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.

I am currently recruiting graduate students.

University of Victoria, BA
University of Amsterdam, MA
University of British Columbia, PhD
Recent Publications:

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

Awards & Recognition:

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award (2018-2023)

The Treatment Trajectories Study (2017 – 2023; funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Project Scheme Grant)

The Care Pathways Study (2018 – 2023; funded by the Vancouver Foundation and a SickKids Foundation/Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Grant)

Implementation Science Program on Opioid Interventions and Services – At-Risk Youth/Newer Users (2018 – 2023; funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse Grant)

Dr. Fast is recruiting Master’s, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral trainees, including trainees studying and training in UBC Department of Medicine’s Experimental Medicine program, UBC Department of Anthropology (where Dr. Fast is an Associate Member) and UBC Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program.