Pubdate: Fri, 15 Feb 2002
Source: Whistler Question (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002, Whistler Printing & Publishing Ltd.
Author: Natalie McGinnis
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


The Sea to Sky corridor's first-ever needle exchange program is
underway in Squamish.

The program - which is headquartered in Squamish's Coast Garibaldi
Health (CGH) office at Hunter Place - began Jan. 8 and aims to prevent
the spread of communicable diseases such as Hepatitis C through
intravenous (IV) drug use.

IV drug users have already started using the program, says Marilyn
McIvor, CGH public health nursing manager.

"Users are showing interest," she said. "People are starting to use
the service. We have exchanged some needles."

Along with providing clean needles on a one-for-one exchange basis,
the program also offers a variety of resources, information and
testing for communicable diseases, says McIvor.

Program coordinator Glen Carney is available Tuesdays and Fridays from
12:30 to 3:30 p.m. to exchange needles and to provide drug, alcohol
and safe sex counselling on an optional basis.

The program - which is modeled after other existing, successful needle
exchanges in operation arou nd the country - will eventually move to
Whistler and Pemberton, for one day each week in both locations.

Community partners and stakeholders have expressed their support for
the project, she said.

For information, call Marilyn at (604) 932-3202, Amy at (604) 892-2293
or Glen at (604) 892-4364. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake