Pubdate: Tue, 15 Jan 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Melissa Coleman


Re: Crack pipe end run upsets O'Brien, Jan. 14.

Municipal, provincial and federal governments all have a 
responsibility for public health and infection prevention in Canada. 
Public health programs work best when all levels of government share 
strategies; at times, different governments have different priorities.

Ontario's health ministry has the right and responsibility to support 
a crack pipe program if it believes the plan reduces the spread of 
infectious diseases and encourages users to end their addictions. 
Scientific studies of similar programs in Vancouver show those outcomes.

If Ottawa's council prefers an addiction treatment program, I suggest 
the politicians stop writing letters and press releases attacking the 
province and work with their public health departments or community 
agencies to develop a proposal for an Ottawa treatment centre. They 
will have a plan to reduce addiction and can then approach their 
provincial and federal public health partners to fund the centre.

If Ottawa's community health centres and Ontario health ministry are 
successful, then an increasing number of crack users will be seeking 
spaces in treatment centres.

Council has a responsibility to be part of the solution and 
developing an addiction treatment centre is an important initiative 
whether Ottawa has a crack-pipe program or not. I suggest council 
stop wasting time and get on with it.

Melissa Coleman,

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