BY GORDON YOUNGMAN, THE DAILY NEWS
Distribution of safer crack-smoking kits reduces the risk that people will share pipes or use broken ones. It is also an opportunity to connect more drug users with harm reduction programs and other health and social services.
Sometimes, these are people who would otherwise never approach a program or agency.
Unfortunately, safer-crack kits that have the materials to make a safer-crack pipe are not available in all communities.
It is gratifying to see VIHA expanding the crack-pipe kit distribution as a part of their harm reduction program with Harris House as a model fixed site program in Nanaimo. Its purpose is not to encourage or condone the use or possession of illegal drugs. It is to help people make safer choices in their use of drugs that will reduce the spread of Hep C and HIV as well as other STIs. Read more »
Nanaimo neighbourhood associations want in on the conversation about harm reduction strategies the Vancouver Island Health Authority expects to roll out this summer.
The health authority plans to implement an Island-wide harm reduction strategy, including 60 sites in various communities.
About 10 sites are being considered in Nanaimo and will be secondary providers of harm reduction materials that include condoms, needles, syringes, alcohol swabs, push sticks, plastic tubes and cookers.Read more »
Re: 'Harm reduction cheaper than not acting' (Daily News, March 25)
As the agency that contracts with VIHA to deliver harm reduction services operated through Harris House, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Daily News for its educative components on the preventative effects harm reduction supplies have on community health.
I would add only that without the support of partnerships, Harris House would not have enjoyed the success achieved to date. In particular, VIHA Public Health, the City of Nanaimo and the RCMP should be acknowledged for their leadership and ongoing involvement.Read more »
The Vancouver Island Health Authority has not done much to inspire confidence among Nanaimo residents over the years, yet the work of administering health programs continues.
The latest news from VIHA is the decision to provide crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia at local health centres.
Though VIHA made a blunder several years ago when they tried handing out crack pipes to Nanaimo addicts, this time it seems that the health authority may have done its homework.
There seems to be no doubt that such a program is necessary. Even when the initial effort was scuttled after an outcry from residents and assertions from the city they were not consulted, no one argued with the need for harm prevention.Read more »