Pubdate: Thu, 15 Mar 2007
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2007 Southam Inc.
Author: Liz Evans


Re: UN scolds Canada's injection havens, March 2.

The UN Office of Drugs and Crime recognized in a report to the
International Narcotics Control Board that the intent of safe
injection sites, such as In Site, Vancouver's supervised injection
site, is "not to abet or facilitate the possession of drugs," or to
commit offences, but rather "to provide healthier conditions for IV
drug abusers, thereby reducing their risk of infection with grave
transmittable diseases."

Last fall, the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS praised Canada's work in
stopping the spread of AIDS through initiatives such as In Site. Their
report called on countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa to
embrace similar harm reduction measures.

Our experience in Vancouver confirms the UN's public health analysis
regarding supervised injection sites. Numerous research papers
published in peer-reviewed journals conclude that In Site has not
increased the use of illegal narcotics, the number of injection drug
users or public disorder.

Most notably, the scientific data demonstrates a reduction in the
market for controlled substances, with people visiting In Site
becoming more likely to access detox and addiction treatment..

Liz Evans,

Executive Director, PHS Community Services Society
(the nonprofit organization that operates In Site in collaboration
with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority),

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