Pubdate: Mon, 16 Jul 2007
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Beth Lusk
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)


It is a sad day indeed for public health in the City of Ottawa. 
Council's abrupt decision to end the distribution of safer crack use 
kits to drug users in the area is a monumental blow to what otherwise 
might have been a promising four-pillar drug strategy.

In removing the harm reduction component, council is taking away a 
widely used, highly effective method of preventing transmission of 
hepatitis, HIV and other communicable infections related to such drug 
use, and all for a measly $7,500 a year in tax dollars. Saving six to 
12 lives a year for $7,500 is a pretty amazing deal.

Ending this excellent, progressive program, which also increases 
access for a marginalized population to health and other social 
services, is absolutely not an appropriate solution to ease the valid 
concerns of Sandy Hill residents and businesspeople. Surely there is 
another way. It's worth it to all residents of Ottawa to find one.

Beth Lusk, RN

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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman