Saturday, May 3, 2008

Health Minister on Drugs.....?

I work at Bridgehead on Bank/Gilmour and we know our fair share of friendly neighbourhood crackheads. Hell, we introduced a key system to our restrooms for that very reason. I personally have met a few really nice homeless guys and gals (like the dude with the carved stick/staff or the guy who sells spoken improv poems for a $1) but we also know some really sketched out wanderers. Anyway, I am a big supporter of initiatives to help get people off the street and off hard drugs but who isn't? It appears Minister of Health Tony Clement, despite several independent reviews showing positive results, thinks progressive initiatives aren't so great. In Vancouver, a pilot project called Insite, seeks to "reduce the harm associated with injection drug use to individuals and the community." Ignoring my unscientific and non-professional opinion; there have been "22 peer-reviewed papers published on the program and they have all shown a positive benefit to users, such as reduced rates of transmission of HIV-AIDS and greater use of rehabilitation services." Problem? Apparently, its not enough for Health Minister Clement, which has led to his apparent ideologically inspired muzzling and misrepresentation of research findings. Lame.

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