Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jul 2013
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2013 The Toronto Star
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: Safe injection helps us all, Editorial July 5

Safe injection helps us all, Editorial July 5

Thank you for making the case for harm reduction in your editorial. 
Safe injection programs have been shown to reduce the spread of HIV 
without increasing drug use. They also serve as a bridge to drug 
treatment for an especially hard to reach population.

Drug users are not the only beneficiaries. Look no further than the 
United States for examples of anti-drug strategies best avoided. U.S. 
Centers for Disease Control researchers estimate that 57 per cent of 
AIDS cases among women and 36 per cent of overall AIDS cases in the 
United States are linked to injection drug use or sex with partners 
who inject drugs.

This preventable public health crisis is a direct result of zero 
tolerance laws that restrict access to clean syringes. Can Canada 
afford to emulate the harm maximization approach of the former land 
of the free and current record holder in citizens incarcerated?

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.
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