Safe Needle Injection Sites Essay

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Canada’s Safe Needle Program
Drugs have always been a huge problem in Vancouver. Half of all injection drug users in this city live in the downtown eastside, shooting up in alleyways filled with used needles, human excrement, and garbage. In 2003, Insite, a facility run by Vancouver Coastal Health and Portland Hotel society, and a safe haven for drug users opened its doors providing addicts with a supervised environment to get their fix. Users get a safe needle kit including clean water, tools for shooting up, and 3-4 new, clean needles. Nurses are also there to ensure that no overdoses occur. This program is very controversial and expensive, but the Canadian government should keep this program and consider opening other facilities like this across the country. This program reduces the spread of diseases such as HIV and AIDS, allows the addicts to seek counseling or get treatment for addiction, and of course makes for a cleaner city.

Shooting up in alleyways is extremely unsanitary, unsafe and just plain dangerous. Users pick up used needles off of the ground, which may have been contaminated by a person with HIV, Hepatitis C or other blood born viruses. Addicts also use dirty puddle water from the streets which could contain endless amounts of harmful bacteria. A study done by The University of British Columbia has found that drug users who regularly use Vancouver's safe injection site in the city's upper eastside are 70 % less likely to share needles than those that do not take advantage of this opportunity ("Safe Drug-Injection Sites Reduce Needle-sharing, HIV Spread: Study." Leader Post. 18 Mar. 2005. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. .) If fewer people are sharing needles this helps to prevent the spread of viruses.   According to research and studies one third of all addicts of injected drugs have HIV and/or AIDS
("Insite - Safe Supervised Injection Site." Interview. Video blog post. Youtube.com. Thefilmfano, 4 Aug. 2006. Web. 4 Dec....

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