Pubdate: Fri, 14 Jul 2006
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Times Colonist
Author: Charlayne Thornton-Joe
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)


Thank you for the article that expressed the concerns I had about 
discarded syringes and the issue of needle drop boxes.

I would like to highlight a few additional points. The Cormorant 
Street situation is most definitely a concern for everyone in that 
area, but I must mention that there is needle use and dropped 
syringes in other parts of the city as well. Also, regarding concerns 
about needles found at South Park School recently, I must add that 
although there is some evidence that a few of those camping in Beacon 
Hill Park may be responsible, it must be remembered that not all 
homeless people are drug users, and more important, not all drug 
users are homeless.

Addicts did not choose to become addicts. All people make decisions 
about whether to try something that may be addictive (smoking, 
gambling, drug use), but only a certain percentage actually become 
addicts. Their addiction becomes a health issue.

And when you are an addict and homeless, the alleys, side streets and 
parking lots may become the areas that you use. Syringe pickup 
programs and needle drop boxes are certainly parts of a 
harm-reduction solution, and a benefit where public perception of our 
city is concerned.

The reality is that drug addiction is in and affects all our 
communities. The real solutions are things like education on 
addiction in schools, detox on demand, support after detox and 
supportive housing.

Charlayne Thornton-Joe,


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