This is a blog for the Mental Health Policy Class at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

October 22, 2009

Could we do this in Missouri?

Since 2003, Vancouver has been the only city in North America where drug addicts can shoot heroin into their veins at an officially sanctioned injection site.
Now some of the same voices that lobbied for the site are suggesting supervised inhalation rooms for crack addicts, saying such facilities would help connect users with treatment programs and help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The suggestion, made after a study linked smoking crack to increased risk of HIV, will be controversial but is driven by pressing public health concerns, B.C.'s top health official said yesterday. "I think it's the right time once you've got the evidence, to put the evidence out and say, 'Gee guys, we need to talk about this,' " said Perry Kendall, the provincial health officer.

1 comment:

TreciaB said...

This suggestion is particularly interesting because it was done on an HBO series called the Wire. On the series a police chief sanctioned designated "safe zones" that addicts could use to get high and dealers could use to get paid ...and it made a significant impact on the community at large. The residential areas that were once dangerous were suddenly quiet and liveable and the everyone appeared to win. The problem was that it "legalized drugs" and that did not sit well with government officials. Although it has positive public health implications, it may eventually weaken our view of the legal system. Or on the otherhand it may lead us to legalizing drugs and making the use of them more safe and reducing one other contributor to increased rates in HIV/AIDS. Not really sure where I stand on the issue but I have to say, it made for good entertainment in 2004 on that series.