Pubdate: Tue, 23 Feb 1999
Source: Illawarra Mercury (Australia)
Copyright: Illawarra Newspapers
Page: 10
Author: HJR


I can't believe the stupidity of our government leaders. Stopping the
needle exchange program is not going to solve the problem of young
people or anyone taking drugs.

I started using drugs when there were no needle exchanges. The needles
we addicts were using back then would be shared amongst us because
they were hard to get.

Sometimes a needle would be used 100 times before you could throw it
away, when they are only supposed to be used once.

I contracted hepatitis A, B and C through sharing needles and so did
my partner and about 80 per cent of the addicts I knew. If we didn't
have exchanges, I would certainly have contracted the HIV virus.

These days it's a relief to know that you can get a clean needle on
demand and you can say: no, I won't share my needles with my partner
or a friend, because you know they can get one, too.

And so the needles that brainless addicts throw onto the streets are
less likely to carry these diseases which are highly infectious.

I really can't see what damage shooting galleries or rooms are going
to do to anyone other than the addict.

You'd have clean needles and you couldn't throw them onto the street.
Also, it would stop needle-sharing and disease spreading.

Port Kembla
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