“Government authorities should allow medically supervised sites where crack-cocaine users can legally smoke their potent drug, researchers and B.C.’s top public-health doctor urged on Monday after a new study suggested crack addicts are particularly prone to contracting HIV.” — National Post, Oct 19, 2009
I’m familiar with insite, BC’s safe injection site in downtown Vancouver. We lived around the corner from this place, and I witnessed more than one person leaving the building after they’ve made use of the facilities for their intended use.
A safe smoking site for crack addicts as a means to reduce HIV infection rates, though? When I read this article in the National Post I was left wondering if health professionals understand how crack addicts become infected with HIV.
My initial thought is that it’s not as much from the pipes they stick in their mouths, as other things. Is the addict spreading disease as part of a less than safe means of financing their habit, and not so much in the act of getting high? My first thought is that the incidence of HIV in crack smokers is merely a correlation; surely there must be a study on this?
If there’s research to show that the pipe itself, like the needle for the heroin user, is the mechanism for transmission of the virus, then I understand the push for “safe crack kits” and a location to allow supervised usage. One of the biggest additions to the general health of heroin addicts is in the harm reduction of having someone actually on location to check on the health of the client. The biggest obvious effect is overdose prevention, and the offshoots from this have been stated as general reduction in HIV transmission infection, and general health of the community.
The comments on the article are frequently horrible, including a charming person named StarSpirit who offers up the helpful, healthy, new age sentiment between yoga classes;
Ughhh…. how about exterminating these drug users. Nothing but a blight on society.
Stay classy, Vancouver.