OTTAWA - Setting up tattoo parlours and needle-exchange programs in
penitentiaries would help reduce the spread of hepatitis C, the
federal prison service has told the Trudeau government.
A Correctional Service memo obtained under the Access to Information
Act advises Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to round out existing
and planned measures to fight hepatitis and HIV in prison.
Prison tattooing and needle-exchange programs for drug users have
generated intense controversy over the years, and the March 2017 memo
says detailed research should be carried out before embarking on a
syringe needle program, in particular, "to avoid unintended and
negative consequences for inmates."
[continues 459 words]
The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit has expanded its harm-reduction
strategy related to intravenous drug users.
With opioid addiction an increasing problem in the local area and
elsewhere, the health unit has set up three 24-hour disposal sites
where users can dispose of old needles.
Needle disposal is a concern for health officials because intravenous
drug abuse is highly correlated with blood-borne illnesses, such as
HIV and hepatitis.
Used needles that aren't properly disposed pose a hazard to young
people who may pick them up or people passing by who are inadvertently
[continues 235 words]
WATERLOO REGION - Regional councillors thanked the public health
department for its harm reduction efforts, but said more needs to be
done to ensure used needles aren't ending up in public spaces.
"I do appreciate the efforts of public health," Cambridge Mayor Doug
Craig said at a council meeting on Tuesday. "But we still have a problem."
The number of needles distributed through Waterloo Region's needle
syringe program has been rising steadily in recent years, reaching a
peak in 2017, according to a report presented this week.
[continues 471 words]
It was an idea born in the middle of a devastating epidemic with an
ever-rising death rate. It drew the ire of state officials, threats to
arrest those who operated it, and fears that it would encourage drug
use and addiction.
No, Philly did not just approve of 'Hamsterdam'
It was a needle exchange to prevent reusing hypodermic needles, and
the year was 1991.
Twenty-seven years later, those involved in the struggle to open
Prevention Point - still Philadelphia's only needle exchange - say the
parallels are clear between that fight and the city's decision to
encourage the opening of safe injection sites, where people in
addiction can inject drugs under medical supervision and access treatment.
[continues 853 words]
TALLAHASSEE -- Two years after lawmakers approved a needle-and-syringe
exchange program in Miami-Dade County, the House and Senate are
considering taking it statewide and expanding the types of providers
who can offer the services.
House and Senate health care-panels on Wednesday approved bills that
would allow hospitals, clinics, medical schools and substance-abuse
treatment programs to begin offering needle-and-syringe exchange
programs to try to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, which
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated cost nearly
$380,000 to treat over a lifetime.
[continues 273 words]
City considers ways to better protect employees and public
Victoria public works officials are examining protocols over the
handling of discarded hypodermic needles to better protect employees
and the public.
Fraser Work, Victoria director of engineering and public works, said
the city is looking at its own protocols in light of reports this
month of people encountering or being nicked by discarded needles.
"We take this issue very seriously, on behalf of our workers and the
public," said Work.
He attended a meeting on Wednesday with public health officials,
police, social service agencies and addict advocates to discuss recent
[continues 345 words]
Dangerously discarded needles could be part of plan to discredit
injection drug users and public health efforts to help them, says
Island Health's chief medical health officer.
Dr. Richard Stanwick told reporters that some people lack sympathy for
drug users and oppose measures such as needle exchanges. They might
even want to discredit both by leaving syringes outside for the public
to find or get jabbed.
"There are still people who see [drug addiction] as a moral failing
and bad choice rather than a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain,"
Stanwick said. "What we are really concerned about is making sure this
isn't some sort of effort to discredit efforts around harm reduction."
[continues 428 words]
Re: "Needle warning issued after 2 pricks in 2 days," Jan. 11.
I agree that it is distressing when a child or anyone else is pricked
by a foreign needle. However, the furor over this and similar
incidents overshadows the real problem that we have today with drug
and other substance abuse.
Until we address the poverty and homelessness problem that exists
today across the country, we will always have addictions. If the basic
level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs is not met, people suffer. That
suffering hurts, and people find ways to numb the hurt. That way is
through substance abuse.
[continues 86 words]
Surveillance intimidates clients, staff at Inner City Health's safe
All is not rosy at Ottawa's first sanctioned safe injection site in
The executive director of Ottawa Inner City Health, which operates the
legal drug-taking site from a trailer at Shepherds of Good Hope, said
Ottawa police regularly have a cruiser parked by the steps to the facility.
"We are having really significant problems currently and we're hoping
we can resolve them," said Wendy Muckle.
[continues 735 words]
Dear editor: It was shocking to read that a parent and her
nine-year-old child had to take on the drug-needle problem in our
school grounds (Western News, Dec. 12).
That secret Queen's Park shed should never have been secret in the
first place. What with such a fuss being made about possible marijuana
shops anywhere within sight of schools, how can discarded needles go
on being all over the place, right at those schools?
Wendy Hyer, school district superintendent, seems not to realize what
her priorities should be, and therefore what we are paying her for.
[continues 67 words]
CAMBRIDGE - An innovative new peer-based pilot project will be
launched in Cambridge early next year with the aim of curbing improper
needle disposal in the community.
The project is a partnership between Region of Waterloo Public Health,
which will provide funding, Sanguen Health Centre and the City of Cambridge.
Along with removing needles through patrols and education, it will
offer employment and skill development to people who have experienced
substance abuse; they will be hired as the peer workers.
"There is no harm in trying other methods to connect people and get
them on board," said Violet Umanetz, Sanguen's outreach manager. "The
peers do so well working in the community."
[continues 538 words]
Like all parents, Nadine Remington wants to know her nine-year-old son
is safe while on school property.
But, the increasing problem of drug use on school property after hours
is heightening fears for her and other parents.
Earlier this week, Remington was told by her son who is in Grade 4 at
Queen's Park School that people were living in a shed on the school's
property and that he had seen a needle and matches nearby.
After a similar experience of the boy finding drug paraphernalia at
KVR Middle School while at camp this summer, she took his claims
seriously and headed out to the school to see it herself. Remington
and her husband didn't find anyone in the shed, but there was evidence
suggesting someone was living in it recently and a needle on the
ground at the door.
[continues 618 words]
Most pharmacies won't ask what needles are used for
Used needles or other sharps never have to be discarded in bottles,
garbage or public spaces because of the Safe Sharps Bring-Back Program.
The Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS) administers the program
for residential sharps users. Although it is not intended for people
who use intravenous drugs, most pharmacies won't ask what the needles
are being used for.
"The whole idea is about harm reduction," said Hugh Toner, pharmacist
owner of both Medicine Shoppe stores in Sydney.
[continues 573 words]
BIA expresses concern about T.O.'s first harm-reduction site
In a mere matter of months it seems the city's first harmreduction
site has turned one of Toronto's top tourist areas into a needle
Mark Garner, CEO and executive director of the Downtown Yonge BIA,
says they're seeing an "increased number of needles" within blocks of
The Works location on Victoria St. - in YongeDundas Square, in the
washrooms of Tim Hortons coffee shops and in laneways.
[continues 887 words]
Does Trudeau back harm reduction or not, ask Sandra Ka Hon Chu and
Implementing needle and syringe programs in federal prisons could
prevent numerous new HIV and Hepatitis C virus infections each year,
saving tens of millions of dollars.
Five years ago, we started a constitutional court case, because it was
clear that, despite the evidence, the previous government would never
agree to implement these health services in federal prisons.
But the Trudeau government has repeatedly declared its commitment to
harm reduction and evidence-based policy, to Charter rights, and to
the health and welfare of vulnerable Canadians. Prison-based needle
and syringe programs reflect all of these.
[continues 585 words]
A pilot project was launched Tuesday to provide the first outdoor
after-hours needle disposable drop box, with the aim of curbing the
high rate of hepatitis C, locally.
The sharp disposal kiosk is located on the property of AIDS Support
Chatham-Kent at 67 Adelaide St. S. in Chatham, which has partnered
with the ChathamKent Public Health Unit to provide a safe place to
dispose of needles.
When looking at best practices of other communities where these types
of sharp disposal kiosks are available, it's a program that's been
tested, said Steve Pratt, harm reduction program manager with AIDS
[continues 284 words]
As little as five years ago, we imagine most people would have scoffed
at the idea of needing a special group to pick up discarded needles in
Though the Comox Valley is not as badly affected as others, which are
in the middle of a needle epidemic directly related to the opioid
crisis that has killed so many across B.C. in the last several years,
it isn't immune, either.
The provincial statistics for 2017 to date are horrifying. This
province has never faced a drug threat like that of fentanyl.
[continues 224 words]
A plan to increase the availability of needle containers in the
community is being welcomed by some city residents.
"I think it's a good idea," said Tracey Bucci, of the Grand River
"It would help reduce the risk of innocent people and animals from
becoming infected by discarded needles. However, addiction issues do
still need to be addressed because that's the root of the problem."
Bucci and her group of volunteers led clean-up efforts this year aimed
at collecting used syringes in the area of Mohawk Lake.
[continues 444 words]
PATERSON -- About a dozen men and women sat on hard plastic chairs
early Wednesday morning inside a conference room at the Well of Hope
Drop-In Center on Broadway, where a flat screen television broadcast
sports highlights on ESPN.
Some came for the free coffee. A sign said the limit was one cup per
hour. Others were there to use the showers and toilet facilities. A
57-year-old man who would only give his name as "Julius" was waiting
to see a nurse about a blister on his foot.
[continues 957 words]
Concern about dangers of discarded injection paraphernalia has
prompted the tattoo artist James Takeo to launch an online petition
which asks Welland city council to investigate installing sharps
containers in public places such as city parks.
Takeo said he posted the petition on social media during the second
week of this month. He said as of Tuesday it had racked up 715
signatures. He is pleasantly surprised by the response. The petition
says: "Too many times there have been incidences of needles being
improperly disposed of in city garbage cans or in other public places
in our community. This poses a safety risk for all members of the
community, especially city workers and staff who often must take the
responsibility of disposal of these sharps.
[continues 919 words]