Pubdate: Fri, 22 Dec 2000
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: The Hamilton Spectator 2000
Author: Ken Robertson


RE: '$40,000 program set up for six addicts' (Dec. 14). Spectator reporter 
Carmela Fragomeni, Milton Councillor Rick Malboeuf and Burlington 
Councillor Jack Dennison appear caught up in statistics and myths about 
Halton's needle-exchange program.

Public health nurse Jean Clipsham was quoted as saying that, if one life 
was saved, the $40,000 would be well spent. I totally agree.

Halton is not blazing a new frontier; quite the contrary. More than 100 
communities across Canada, including Hamilton, Peel and Toronto, have 
progressive-minded politicians and community workers who see the need to 
address the health concerns of their citizens and not bury their heads in 
the sand.

The Halton needle exchange program is being set up to help reduce the 
spread of HIV and hepatitis by providing clean needles to drug users.

The service will also provide condoms, information and referrals to drug 
and alcohol treatment facilities.

We should all chill out a little and offer our support to the 
AIDS/STD/Sexual Health Clinic Services for at least one year. If there is 
no need for this service in Halton, so be it.

As far as the $40,000 goes, I can assure you our politicians have wasted a 
lot more on a lot less.

Ken Robertson, Oakville
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