In Memoriam: Dan Reist

In Memoriam: Dan Reist
Assistant director, Knowledge Exchange (retired)

About Dan

Dan Reist, who retired in 2022, led a Vancouver-based team that focuses on communicating current evidence in a way that supports the evolution of effective policy and practice. With a background in continental philosophy and hermeneutics, Dan was quick to acknowledge that evidence is far more than statistics about patterns of use and harm and includes attention to the ways we experience and talk about drugs and drug use in our cultures and communities.

Sadly, Dan passed away in September 2023.

Dan, for over two decades, contributed to policy dialogues in British Columbia related to substance use and addictive behaviours and has participated in many national and international discussions. He was deeply committed to a health promotion approach to substance use. He championed the careful use of language to describe substance use and the related risks and problems and seeked to bridge the ideological divides and professional barriers that have too often undermined effective responses.

He lead the development of a competency-based approach to drug and gambling education. This included the articulation of a set of drug literacy and gambling literacy competencies and the development of a suite of resources to support constructivist education using a variety of dialogic techniques.

Dan's interests included health promotion, dialogue and hermeneutics, theories of knowledge, the philosophy of education, healthy public policy and the phenomenology of psychoactive substance use.