By: JAMES WILT, Fast Forward Weekly
Following a barrage of Calgary Sun articles last week regarding the distribution of crack pipes by Safeworks, a Calgary harm reduction program, staff there has been instructed by Alberta Health Services (AHS) to stop handing them out.
At 1 p.m. today, the staff of Safeworks received an internal memo via email which said, "As of today, we have been instructed by the deputy minister of health to discontinue crack pipe distribution until further notice due to legal implications. Crack pipes are to be removed from the van immediately."
Although crack pipes have been distributed by the program since 2008, the Calgary Sun published two articles in its Tuesday, August 2 newspaper, lashing out at the fact that the Alberta government, and ultimately taxpayers, are paying for and contributing to drug users' habits. Read more »
The trauma of having a parent who was forced to attend a residential school is linked to higher rates of hepatitis C infection among aboriginal young people in B.C., new research suggests.
The research was part of the Cedar Project, a long-term collaborative research project focusing on HIV and hepatitis C infection in young aboriginal drug users in British Columbia.
The project aims to understand the relationship between historical trauma — such as having a parent or grandparent who attended a residential school — and vulnerability to blood-borne diseases.
Researchers had already linked a history of sexual abuse among the young group under study with having a parent who attended a residential school or was involved in the child welfare system.Read more »
The prevalence of HIV and hepatitis C is 10 to 20 times higher in the prison population than in the general population. Most prisoners are eventually returned to their families and communities, where they could spread diseases they might not even know they are carrying.
Public health is but one of the concerns. Another is cost — and the fact is that needle-exchange programs are far more cost-efficient than treating patients with incurable, infectious diseases. If there were ever a recipe for short-sighted idiocy the “Recipe for a riot” letter certainly fits the bill.
Educators For Sensible Drug Policy (EFSDP)