Pubdate: Sat, 14 Dec 2002
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2002 Southam Inc.
Author: Florian Hubner


Re: MPs Push for Safe Heroin Injection Sites, Dec. 10.

I want to invite Tony Clement, Ontario's Health Minister who opposes 
injection clinics, to visit Switzerland. A federal country too, quite 
conservative but with very audacious drug policies.

Why? Because hundreds of injecting drugs users got infected by HIV in the 
mid-'80s and needle-exchange programs started all over the country, leading 
to a dramatic decrease of new HIV infections due to drug use.

An additional step was taken when opening safe injecting sites. Now, dozens 
of them are open in several Swiss cities, offering drug users a safe and 
secure environment, reducing not only HIV and hepatitis infections, but 
also bringing them back some human dignity.

Saving people's lives is certainly something every health minister should 
try to achieve to the utmost. What the Swiss managed to do, we believe 
others, including Canadians, can also accomplish.

Florian Hubner,

Geneva, Switzerland.
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