Pubdate: Sat, 24 May 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: The harm in 'harm reduction,' May 17.

In her opinion article, Margret Kopala fails to consider that harm 
reduction interventions like Vancouver's Insite safe injection 
facility reduce harm, not just among drug users, but among the 
population as a whole.

Look no further than Canada's southern neighbour for tragic examples 
of what can happen when governments declare all-out war on drug 
users. U.S. Centers for Disease Control researchers estimate that 57 
per cent of AIDS cases among women and 36 per cent of overall AIDS 
cases in the U.S. are linked to injection drug use or sex with 
partners who inject drugs.

This preventable public health crisis is a direct result of zero 
tolerance laws that restrict access to clean syringes. Can Canada 
afford to emulate the harm maximization approach of the former land 
of the free and the current record holder in citizens incarcerated?

Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C. Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
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