Pubdate: Sat, 23 Jul 2005
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Times Colonist
Author: Fred Mallach
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)


The philosophy of harm reduction has been a treatment model in Europe since 
the 1970s. A great amount of evidence has been compiled that indicates the 
practice of harm reduction is an effective approach in dealing with drug 
and alcohol addiction.

How is it that as a society we can accept misuse of alcohol as a medical 
condition but decry the same misuse of drugs as a character flaw?

One very important point that was made by one of the presenters at a 
harm-reduction forum on Tuesday night was that for $1 spent on harm 
reduction, $3 was saved on ancillary costs such as policing, prosecution, 
incarceration, property damage, medical costs, etc.

One letter-writer said that "storefront needle injection sites" are low on 
his priority list ("Safe-injection sites not a priority," July 20).

To categorize the city's harm-reduction policy as "public needle injection 
sites" is to completely miss the point. The writer goes on to challenge the 
city to put the harm-reduction policy to a referendum in November.

If not supporting harm reduction is going to cost three times as much as 
supporting it, is there really a need for a referendum?

Fred Mallach,

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