Pubdate: Thu, 14 Dec 2006
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Times Colonist
Author: Matt Erickson
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


I fear people's biases around needle exchanges and safe-injection 
sites are leading them to overlook the benefits. These facilities 
provide information on addiction, counselling, clean equipment and 
staff to treat wounds, abscesses and infections.

There is even peer support, opiate-replacement therapy and withdrawal 
management. Right now there are 45 cities around the world with 85 
injection sites. Every one says we wish we'd done it sooner and had more.

In a letter earlier this year Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan said, "to 
date the impressive research findings that have been published 
demonstrate that (the site) not only provides a significant 
opportunity to generate knowledge, it also appears to be an important 
protective factor in the lives of those individuals that use the facility."

Insite in Vancouver has had no overdose deaths.

How can we say these places aren't safe or are making our world a 
worse place when they are getting drugs off the streets, decreasing 
the spread of infections, including HIV, and bringing much needed awareness.

Matt Erickson

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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman