Pubdate: Tue, 12 Nov 2002
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Guido Thylmann
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)

[Vancouver Sun Editorial Introduction:
While many professionals endorse safe injection sites and clean needles for 
drug addicts, other counsellors think a combination of jail and treatment 
is the best answer]


As someone who has seen a comprehensive harm reduction program in action, I 
can only shake my head when reading the speculative comments made by your 
readers. Time and time again, I read about "enabling" health programs such 
as safe injection sites. If safe injection sites and other harm reduction 
programs were so enabling of drug use, Germany would be overrun with drug 
users. But instead, there are now fewer drug users and drug-related 
problems in Germany.

The truth is that harm reduction works, especially when it is supported by 
prevention, treatment and innovative approaches to enforcement. The problem 
is that the public and politicians in Vancouver have been listening to the 
advice of police officers like Al Arsenault for too long. All we have to do 
is look south of the border to realize how helpful that sort of advice is. 
Let's stop speculating and start acknowledging the evidence.

Guido Thylmann

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