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1 US KY: Oped: It's Time To Legalize Medical Marijuana In KentuckyWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Lundergan, Alison Area:Kentucky Lines:115 Added:03/10/2018

For years, Kentucky veterans have approached us with a question that has no good answer: "Why are my comrades in other states able to treat PTSD and pain with medical cannabis while I cannot?"

Frustrated and confused, these men and women struggle daily with the effects of post-traumatic stress triggered by the horrors of war and chronic pain from injuries suffered in combat.

One is Eric Pollack whose PTSD became so unbearable that he nearly became part of a depressing statistic. In Kentucky, the veteran suicide rate is 10 percent higher than the national average.

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2 Canada: Tattoo, Needle Programs In Prisons Could Curb Hep C: MemoTue, 20 Feb 2018
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Bronskill, Jim Area:Canada Lines:90 Added:02/25/2018

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."

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3 CN ON: Health Unit Offers Secure Needle DisposalSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON) Author:Sonnenberg, Monte Area:Ontario Lines:59 Added:02/10/2018

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 stabbed.

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4 CN ON: City Examines Injection SiteWed, 31 Jan 2018
Source:Sudbury Star (CN ON) Author:Keown, Mary Katherine Area:Ontario Lines:82 Added:02/05/2018

Committee to look at report next week

Sudbury could become home to a safe injection site.

The community services committee will hear next week about the prospect of undertaking a feasibility study for a site, which will cost $150,000 to $200,000. Council is being asked to endorse the report.

"Through community consultations, under the mental health and compassionate city community priorities, the suggested action includes the study of and possible

establishment of a supervised injection site," a staff report indicates. "In addition, the establishment of (a safe injection site) has been prioritized by the community drug strategy as part of the harm reduction pillar area of responsibility."

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5CN ON: Advocates Pushing For Safe Injection SiteFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Windsor Star (CN ON) Author:Cross, Brian Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2018

Health unit under fire for perceived lack of urgency in pursuing provincial funds

Matt Cascadden, who lost seven friends last year to the raging opioid epidemic, is convinced a safe injection site in Windsor would save many lives.

"It should be pushed, I think we need it big time, now," the 36-year-old Windsor man and former drug user said Thursday.

Now living in a downtown residence, Cascadden contemplated the impact such a centre - part of an overdose prevention site currently being offered by the Ontario government - would have on the growing number of addicts who shoot up in parks, alleys and backyards.

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6 US FL: Legislature May Expand Miami Needle ExchangeWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Sexton, Christine Area:Florida Lines:56 Added:01/24/2018

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.

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7CN AB: Spotlight Is On Fentanyl, But Meth Most Consumed Illicit DrugFri, 19 Jan 2018
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Cole, Yolande Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2018

A University of Calgary researcher says the city's supervised consumption site is important not only for people who use opioids, but for those who consume other substances such as meth, which was cited as the most frequently used substance during a recent study of drug users in Calgary.

The research was conducted as part of a harm reduction needs assessment for Calgary that launched in June 2017 and wrapped up in the fall. The study included 370 people in the city who use substances other than alcohol or marijuana.

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8 CN ON: Peer-Based Program Aims To Reduce Unsafe Needle DisposalTue, 19 Dec 2017
Source:Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON) Author:Weidner, Johanna Area:Ontario Lines:102 Added:12/24/2017

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."

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9 US: Report: 'Substantial' Hepatitis C Infection Increase Tied ToThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:United States Lines:98 Added:12/21/2017

The United States' overall rate of hepatitis C infection more than doubled from 2004 to 2014 -- and among people under 40, it increased by 300 to 400 percent.

The reason for the jump? Transmission through injecting opioid drugs, said a report published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

Lead author Jon Zibbell, senior public health analyst in the Behavioral and Urban Health program of North Carolina-based RTI International, said public health officials have long presumed the link, but the research, performed in conjunction with a number of other agencies, provides data to back it up.

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10 US PA: Organ Donations From Fatal Drug Overdoses DoubleSat, 16 Dec 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Baldrige, Susan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:149 Added:12/18/2017

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Charles Grugan's drug addiction took a toll on his family.

They tried to help him, but on Oct. 12, 2011, Grugan 33, overdosed on heroin. He never recovered.

While on life support in a regional hospital, doctors approached his family and showed them his driver's license.

Grugan had made the decision to be an organ donor when he was 18 years old.

His heart, liver and kidneys were successfully transplanted into three people.

"It was a silver lining for us," Grugan's' mother, Eileen Grugan, said. "Donating Charles' organs to others was the thing that kept our family together and pulled us through this grief.

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11 CN ON: City Backs Downtown Supervised Injection SiteTue, 05 Dec 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Dongen, Matthew Van Area:Ontario Lines:98 Added:12/05/2017

Two community agencies on hand to lend support for initiative which is expected to be paid for by province

The city has endorsed a supervised injection site for downtown Hamilton but it's up to a community agency to step up to run such a facility.

The city's board of health endorsed the findings of a long-awaited study Monday that recommend adding at least one permanent site in the core for people to safely inject illegal drugs under the watchful eye of health professionals.

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12 CN ON: Editorial: Safe-Injection Site Makes Sense For HamiltonSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:12/02/2017

Facing the reality that Hamilton needs at least one supervised injection site is not pleasant.

In an ideal world, such a thing might not be needed. People with drug addictions would get counselling and support to break their addiction. Until then, they could ingest drugs in a safe and clean environment.

But this isn't an ideal world. We're in a historic and growing street-drug crisis. And those qualities - access to support and a safe environment - are exactly what you get with a supervised injection site (SIS).

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13 CN NS: Safe Needle Disposal Program Open To AllThu, 23 Nov 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Sullivan, Nikki Area:Nova Scotia Lines:99 Added:11/28/2017

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.

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14 CN BC: OPED: Red Zones Are Ruining LivesMon, 20 Nov 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Larkin, DJ Area:British Columbia Lines:116 Added:11/20/2017

Regularly imposed bail condition is an untenable method of punishment and sets up marginalized people for failure

Imagine you have a serious medical condition requiring regular care. You are charged with a minor offence, for which you are innocent until proved guilty, and your first step into the justice system is to stand before a judge who will determine whether you will be released on bail. The judge says you are free to go, but as a condition of release you are not to be within the 10 square-block area that constitutes the downtown - even though your doctor, your pharmacy and your social supports such as friends and family are all within that area. You have been "red zoned" from your community.

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15CN ON: OPED: We Need Clean Needle And Syringe Program In PrisonsThu, 02 Nov 2017
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Chu, Sandra Ka Hon Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:11/06/2017

Does Trudeau back harm reduction or not, ask Sandra Ka Hon Chu and Richard Elliott

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.

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16 CN ON: New Option To Safe Needle Disposal LaunchedWed, 25 Oct 2017
Source:Chatham Daily News, The (CN ON) Author:Shreve, Ellwood Area:Ontario Lines:64 Added:10/30/2017

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 Support C-K.

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17CN AB: OPED: Approving Safe Injection Sites An Act Of 'Courage AndTue, 24 Oct 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Hyshka, Elaine Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:10/28/2017

The evidence points to an urgent need, say Elaine Hyshka and Cameron Wild.

Last week, Health Canada issued the approvals to establish supervised consumption services in Edmonton. Scientific evidence consistently supports the individual and community benefits of these services, and local data demonstrate an urgent need for them in our inner city.

Unfortunately, some people allege ("Safe injection sites will hurt vulnerable communities," Oct. 21) the scientific evidence used to support Health Canada's decision is biased and not credible. We write to correct this misrepresentation of facts.

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18 CN NS: What Harm Reduction Really MeansTue, 19 Sep 2017
Source:Cape Breton Post (CN NS) Author:Sullivan, Nikki Area:Nova Scotia Lines:59 Added:09/19/2017

Harm reduction is one kind of treatment approach for helping people with substance abuse disorders and it can be confusing for people not familiar with it.

"Sometimes people think it's abstinence versus harm reduction but that isn't true," said Laura Chapman, health promotion specialist with Mental Health and Addiction Services.

"Harm reduction absolutely includes abstinence."

Chapman and many other clinical therapists, counsellors and other professionals working directly with people suffering from substance abuse disorders feel harm reduction is an important tool.

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19 CN AB: A Prickly IssueSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author:Wakefield, Jonny Area:Alberta Lines:117 Added:09/08/2017

Discarded needles in the spotlight as Edmonton tackles overdose crisis, safe injection sites

Cardboard boxes filled with syringes fill every nook and cranny of the Streetworks office at Boyle Street Community Services.

They're stacked on top of cabinets, in corners and underneath a table in the centre of the brightly lit office. Unboxed sharps, wrapped in plastic, are stored in bins along a counter where people who use drugs can pick up clean supplies.

The boxes go "wherever we can stuff them," said Marliss Taylor, program manager at Streetworks. Last year, the service distributed a record two-and-a-quarter million syringes through its needle exchange van and exchange sites throughout the city. The goal, Taylor said, is to "flood the market" with clean needles, reducing the health impacts of intravenous drug use.

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20CN AB: Researchers Outline Plan To Study Impact Of Injection SitesFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author:Gerein, Keith Area:Alberta Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2017

Public health researchers behind Edmonton's effort to develop supervised drug consumption sites say they have a plan to study how the yet-to-be-approved facilities affect both clients and communities.

Assuming the four sites win approval from Health Canada and begin operating, a robust evaluation process will be needed to gauge the benefits and residents' reactions to the facilities, the researchers said in a new report.

The evaluation will be conducted by the University of Alberta's School of Public Health, with Elaine Hyshka serving as the lead.

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