From the Globe & Mail: Nanaimo rethinks crack kits for addicts
Frank Murphy — August 8, 2010
In case you missed it the Globe ran this feature in its Saturday edition on the Balmoral Hotel and the harm-reduction approach in general to problems like addiction that are linked to homelessness.
It includes details of a recent SFU study:“Social, health and drug use characteristics of primary crack users in three mid-sized communities in British Columbia, Canada “
A couple of other things that caught my in the weekend papers: Affordable housing has been a topic here recently. Here’s an article in the Globe on attempts to create fee-simple row housing in Vancouver.
And the idea of municipal political parties has come up a number of times. The money and the players behind Gregor Robertson and the Vision Vancouver party and their success in winning Vancouver City Hall in this Vancouver Sun story might hold some interesting lessons. How Big Money Drives Social Change
Re: dispensing free crack kits and various other harm-reduction materials. There is a larger financial issue here than is immediately apparent, and possibly little known. Harm reduction can also be cost reduction, and “burden upon the taxpayers” reduction. A much-younger friend, now clean and gainfully employed for over ten years, has developed non-Hodgkinson’s lymphoma, which I am told is thirty percent more likely to develop among people with Hepatitis C, which my friend developed due to drug use. So there have been medical costs in the original diagnosis of Hepatitis C and now there will be heavy costs involved in whatever form of treatment is attempted, dealing with non-Hodgkinson’s lymphoma. Treating cancer is rarely cheap, and we are all paying the cost. If various forms of “harm reduction kits” had been readily available when my friend was using drugs, it’s possible that expensive cancer treatments would not be necessary now.
If one removes emotion and moral points of view from the issue, it *does* make financial sense, and removes at least a portion of the cost and use of an overburdened medical system.