Pubdate: Mon, 21 Mar 2016
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Petra Schulz
Page: A8


Re. "Canadian causes stir at UN with drug speech," March 17

I applaud the assistant deputy minister of health, Hillary Geller, on
her public support for harm reduction, including supervised injection
services, at the United Nation narcotic drug conference in Vienna. I
was disappointed with the negative spin of your article, which is not
based on the available scientific evidence.

We need supervised injections services exactly because narcotics like
heroin and fentanyl are dangerous. Providing medical supervision
during consumption saves lives, increases uptake into treatment,
reduces crime and prevents related diseases.

These facts are proven by numerous studies looking at outcomes at
Insite in Vancouver and over 60 sites worldwide.

Since 2011 almost 500 Albertans have died of a fentanyl overdose and
this is not counting the overdose deaths attributed to other opioids.
Our son Danny died in 2014 at the age of 25, and since 2014 we have
seen a 126 per cent increase in death rates.

The numbers keep on rising and last year's numbers were equal to a
jetliner crashing in an Alberta field.

Would we stand by and do nothing if we had annual jetliner crashes?
Supervised injection sites save lives, so let's keep people alive with
effective harm reduction measures, so they can make a better decision
on another day.

Petra Schulz, Edmonton
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