Pubdate: Fri, 09 Oct 2009
Source: Comox Valley Echo (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Comox Valley Echo
Author: Terry McLennan


In response to 'We're out of our minds' by Kathleen Best, in the 
October 6/09 Comox Valley Echo.

Addiction is a compulsive, physiological and psychological need, it 
is a chronic illness that knows no barrier of age, religion, culture, 
education, income, or social standing.

The stigmatization addicts experience is real, and it is this 
stigmatization that makes it difficult for addicts to seek help.

Adoption of a harm reduction outlook creates future opportunity to 
promote health, education, and referral opportunities the addict may 
not otherwise reach for. As a nurse, I support the values of the 
Canadian Nurses Association ( supporting harm 
reduction as a vital link which can restore dignity and choice to our 
most vulnerable.

Health Canada ( states harm reduction reduces 
drug-related risks, and therefore reduces health, social, justice, 
and enforcement costs.

Harm reduction decreases contact and spread of HIV, Hepatitis B & C, 
Tuberculosis, and other pathogens.

This is not including the respiratory, soft tissue (burns, 
abscesses), bone, cardiac, foot, and dental problems of the chronic 
addict which present to our ER's.

I applaud the vision our Courtenay council has shown by adopting a 
harm reduction approach by supporting the free crack pipe plan.

Terry McLennan RN 4th year BSN student North Island College
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom