Pubdate: Fri, 22 Apr 2005
Source: Barrhaven Independent (CN ON)
Page: 7
Copyright: 2005 Barrhaven Independent
Note: Published 2nd and 4th Saturday of month
Author: Russell Barth
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


When the AIDS epidemic started, and people suggested having condom machines 
in schools, many criticized the idea as "promoting sex". When needle 
exchange programs were started in many cities around the world, many 
criticized the idea as "promoting IV drug use". When the free crack pipe 
program was started in Toronto years ago, some criticized the idea as 
"promoting crack use".

Does anyone honestly think that some addict will decide to suddenly go 
clean just because he had no pipe?! Or that someone will decide to start 
using, just because free pipes are now available?! Addicts would smoke 
crack out of a dead rat if they thought it would get them high quicker. 
Addiction is where the decision to use drugs is made, and the pipe is not 
even a factor.

But the bottom line is that these programs have done little to increase 
drug use, but much to reduce the spread of disease. That is not an opinion, 
that is a solid fact, whether Jan Harder, Police Chief Vince Bevan, or 
anyone else likes it or not.

I agree that the free crack kit idea is only a small, stopgap measure, but 
it will be helpful in the long run.

What we really need in this society is a serious, in depth, fact-based 
education program aimed at kids, and more money spent on rehabilitation and 
health care.

Russell Barth, Ottawa
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