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We have a dilemma here in Ontario well more so Ottawa. Crack needles are being provided free of charge to drug users by the city using our tax dollars. They feel that by doing so the risk of stds(sharing needles ect) wil drastically reduce among Ottawas drug users.

On a radio show an older woman called and asked the host why she should have to pay for her needles(she's a diabetic) and why people who use it to harm themselves and leave needles around (almost everywhere some areas worse than others) get them free of charge. The host responded well call them and tell them you are a drug user, how can they deny you even if they are for insulin.


IT DRIVES ME CRAZY, my kids could be playing with needles much less to say my taxes pay for this stuff ARRGHHH
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First Helper Mabel
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replied June 3rd, 2008
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Users are going to use needles period, dirty or not. Providing clean needles theoretically keeps the cost of health care down. It's much more expensive to treat chronic communicable diseases than provide free needles.
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replied June 3rd, 2008
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i thought crack was smoked. anyway, i think the programs for heroin abuse are a good thing because they take the profit away from drug dealers and stop some of the crime caused by people trying to get money for drugs. i don't know if this is the program you're talking about but they recently renewed the safe injection site program. they did an assessment of it and found it had many positive effects but they were still going to discontinue it. i believe there was an outcry against the cancellation of the program. i don't think it was government funded though. the users who come there are severe addicts who use the drugs not recreationally but to offset the pain of withdrawl. the sites also do not cause new people to become addicted to drugs, they only treat those who become very ill when they come off the drugs. it's not something you can get insurance for and the government will only pay for detox and treatment. so, it's not a nice thing but it seems to be doing more good than harm in my opinion.
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replied June 4th, 2008
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It is an interesting situation, but I agree with the diabetic... why should someone who needs them to survive have to pay for them, while someone who 'needs' them for their next fix get them for free? It's sad that they will use any type of needle regardless, but at least step in with some type of 'free needle' deal for anyone who needs them...
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replied June 5th, 2008
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Isn’t that enabling?
As Birch said: they are going to use the needles whether it is clean or not and they might be HIV positive already. If a child were to play with these needles.. Oh, my Word! I don’t even want to think about that.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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Beline wrote:
Isn’t that enabling?
As Birch said: they are going to use the needles whether it is clean or not and they might be HIV positive already. If a child were to play with these needles.. Oh, my Word! I don’t even want to think about that.


It pretty bas the major shopping mall here (downtown) some areas have alot of crack needles outside so it really hard or the fact I have seen some at kids parks. Kids are alwaya going to be curious and what if she is in the sandbow or what it, so it kind of freaks me out.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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It sounds like the problem is more that the needles are left in unsavory places, not that the needles are given out for free. Maybe a solution could be implemented to solve that issue?

Lilly Ivy wrote:
It is an interesting situation, but I agree with the diabetic... why should someone who needs them to survive have to pay for them, while someone who 'needs' them for their next fix get them for free? It's sad that they will use any type of needle regardless, but at least step in with some type of 'free needle' deal for anyone who needs them...


I saw that you put "needs" in quotes, and I wasn't sure what you meant exactly, but I did want to chime in and say that drug users do need the drugs; they can go into detox without them and for some substances that can be fatal (heroin, alcohol). Additionally, the power of addiction is so strong that people will do anything, I mean anything, to get them.

I didn't write my first thoughts on this thread, but I'll share them now: I think the diabetic should be grateful she can afford to get needles and not feel so entitled.
What's Canada's health plan when it comes to provision of diabetic supplies?
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replied June 5th, 2008
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i thought with safe injection sites they came in and got clean drugs and needle, shot up there and left. maybe we aren't talking about the same thing. i do know that there is a program in my city where they have a van and if someone requests a clean needle they can get one but they also have safe disposal units on the van. they mostly deal with prostitutes so i guess it's a safer alternative than having AIDS and hepC spread through dirty needles and passed on through unsafe sex. (they also hand out condoms) I'm sure they must talk to the women and tell them not to dump their needles in playgrounds and near schools but it still happens. the inner city schools here have people who walk around whenever school is on to shoo the prostitutes away and talk to them about staying away from where kids are.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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I believe there is an exchange. You bring in your old dirty needles and you get the same number of clean needles in exchange.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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Birch wrote:
It sounds like the problem is more that the needles are left in unsavory places, not that the needles are given out for free. Maybe a solution could be implemented to solve that issue?

Lilly Ivy wrote:
It is an interesting situation, but I agree with the diabetic... why should someone who needs them to survive have to pay for them, while someone who 'needs' them for their next fix get them for free? It's sad that they will use any type of needle regardless, but at least step in with some type of 'free needle' deal for anyone who needs them...


I saw that you put "needs" in quotes, and I wasn't sure what you meant exactly, but I did want to chime in and say that drug users do need the drugs; they can go into detox without them and for some substances that can be fatal (heroin, alcohol). Additionally, the power of addiction is so strong that people will do anything, I mean anything, to get them.

I didn't write my first thoughts on this thread, but I'll share them now: I think the diabetic should be grateful she can afford to get needles and not feel so entitled.
What's Canada's health plan when it comes to provision of diabetic supplies?


Depending on the level of addiction, it can be fatal. But the only way a heroin addict can get off is if they just stop. It's a nasty sight, and I believe it takes about a week, but it is possible.

I say 'need' because if they skip one or two, it's not as deadly as if a diabetic skips one or two doses. The 'need' factor (again depending on the level of addiction) varies greatly.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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"Need", as in air, food, water, sleep.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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Lilly Ivy wrote:


Depending on the level of addiction, it can be fatal. But the only way a heroin addict can get off is if they just stop. It's a nasty sight, and I believe it takes about a week, but it is possible.

I say 'need' because if they skip one or two, it's not as deadly as if a diabetic skips one or two doses. The 'need' factor (again depending on the level of addiction) varies greatly.


If heroine addiction were that easy to quit, there wouldn't be methadone clinics, and rehab clinics. I'll bet a lot of famous rock stars probably wouldn't have died from herione addictions and we all wouldn't be discussing needle exchange programs.

As for diabetics skipping doses of insulin, they are taking insulin to regulate their blood sugars. What do you think happens when they don't take their meds? Diabetes is deadly.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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people on heroin can continue on the drug safely if the source and the dose are controlled. getting it on the street is the really dangerous part because the supply fluctuates and when the supply is low they cut the drugs with all kinds of crap so people have to take more to get what they need, then when the supply goes up again people overdose because they take too much of the actual drug. if they are getting it from somewhere where the dose is measured and just enough to keep them from getting sick and their needles are clean it is much safer than taking them on the streets. it's a sad situation but it won't go away by ignoring it. i think the real scumbags are the ones who get people hooked on it so they can make money off their misery.
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replied June 5th, 2008
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Lilly Ivy wrote:
[
Depending on the level of addiction, it can be fatal. But the only way a heroin addict can get off is if they just stop. It's a nasty sight, and I believe it takes about a week, but it is possible.


Going cold turkey off of hard drugs can very well be fatal- in the way you described.

It should only be done under medical supervision. Usually other medications are needed to keep the body functioning without the drug.
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replied June 6th, 2008
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Actually, I think she was saying that diabetics needs them more because missing a dose of insulin is more dangerous than missing drugs- pretty much what you were saying!
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replied June 6th, 2008
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I agree. Lily Ivy is a sweetheart and I honestly don’t think she meant it that way.
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replied June 6th, 2008
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There are needle programs for diabetics. At the pharmacy I use they told me that diabetics can get their needles free. As well as diabetic supplies being covered by medicaid.
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replied June 6th, 2008
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Georgia59 wrote:
Actually, I think she was saying that diabetics needs them more because missing a dose of insulin is more dangerous than missing drugs- pretty much what you were saying!


That's exactly what I was saying. I know the dangers, just not exactly first hand.

My friends dad had it and I watched him go into diabetic shock (which was scary, I didn't know what was going on), his sugar was 32 when the EMTs tested it. Her sister was diagnosed when she was one, and she's been in the hospital plenty of times because of it.
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replied June 6th, 2008
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It is scary!
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replied June 6th, 2008
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So is drug addiction!!
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