HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Closing Needle Exchange Makes For Bad Business
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Jul 2017
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 North Bay Nugget
Contact: http://www.nugget.ca/letters
Website: http://www.nugget.ca/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2226
Author: John R. Hunt
Page: A4

CLOSING NEEDLE EXCHANGE MAKES FOR BAD BUSINESS

Life for the police in North Bay is going to become at least a little
more difficult. The city is going to lose its primary needle exchange
program.

Police Chief Shawn Devine has warned that this will put the public and
others at risk. The Nipissing Detoxification and Substance Abuse
Program is slated to close in September. The North Bay Regional Health
Centre is cutting the program.

The report carried some alarming or amazing statistics about needle
exchanges. The ordinary citizen may wonder where or who are the people
using all these needles.

According to Devine, the detox program was responsible for handing out
145,170 needles and receiving 83,283 in return. the North Bay/Parry
Sound district health unit has handed out 43,572 needles and received
25,103 and the AIDS Committee of North Bay and area provided 39,359
needles and received 34,857 in return.

All of this is a great many needles and, unfortunately, a lot of them
were never returned and are floating around somewhere. It is generally
agreed that needle exchanges prevent the spread of disease and saves
lives.

At the same time, the needle exchanges must accept the drug culture.
there is no room for moral judgements or self-righteous decisions.

The statistics indicate that north Bay has a drug culture that if not
healthy is at least very lively. Dozens of people must be using
needles. North Bay must have a lot of drug addicts and a great many
people who are using drugs and hoping they do not become addicted.

To feed their drug habits, users commonly turn to shoplifting and
petty crime to raise the money. North Bay must have its share of drug
dealers to satisfy the demand.

In a subsequent but related report, Chief Devine said there has been
an upsurge of violence in the North Bay drug scene. Drug dealers are
now using weapons and making a lot more work for the North Bay police.

It's all rather depressing but one thing is clear: North Bay has not
escaped the drug plague that is sweeping the nation. Closing down any
type of service which helps fight the drug problem is very bad business.
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