Pubdate: Tue, 15 Apr 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist
Author: Christie Wall


Why, in a society where everyone knows someone who is addicted to 
something, are we still debating the efficacy and necessity of harm 
reduction? What if your mother was addicted to crack (or gambling)? 
And don't say it couldn't happen; I know many mothers who have 
addiction issues. Would you not want her to be able to access clean 
syringes, counselling or food?

What if your daughter developed a meth habit? Would you wish HIV/AIDS 
upon her? And if your brother had a heroin addiction, would you deny 
him housing and support?

The people you see hunting along the pavement for crack or asking you 
for change are just that, people. They deserve the same respect 
available to any other person in our society. They deserve chances to 
take care of themselves, to access housing, to have somebody listen.

They might need to take care of themselves in some different ways 
than people who don't use drugs. They need clean syringes. They need 
access to information on safer drug use until such time as they no 
longer want or need to use. And they need to have a safe space to go.

The needle exchange provides these services and is welcome in my 
backyard, any day.

Christie Wall

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