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 Post subject: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epidemic
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:40 pm 
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A grrrreat piece from the Huffington Post this week explaining why harm reduction strategies and interventions are sooo important if we want to seriously confront the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic we're facing.

Check it out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kyle-barbour/harm-reduction-is-essenti_b_8359864.html

zt

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 Post subject: Re: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epid
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:19 am 
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Gotta love the Huff Post, they do some great articles about substance use/treatment.

What did shock me a little bit was the start of the article where it says that each year nearly 7 million US citizens will use drugs intravenously, and that "...the majority of injection drug users are infected with either HIV or hepatitis C..."

I know that the prevalence of blood borne virus's in IV drug users is high, but wasn't aware that the majority of IVDU's have either HCV or HIV.

Maybe it's different in the US, as in the UK you can go to most pharmacies and they will provide you with an 'exchange kit' containing 10 needles of your chosen gauge, and you can then return them to the pharmacy. So getting new injecting equipment is extremely easy, and also if you get arrested, you don't get an extra charge for having 'paraphernalia' if you're found with syringes.

Either way, it's great that Harm Reduction is being discussed in the main stream press in such positive terms, it can only serve to gain wider acceptance in the community at large, which will help everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epid
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:56 am 
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One or the other (HIV and/OR Hepatitis C)... that's always been my understanding for IV drug users... but not ALL drug users. But it could be different from country to country. You tend to see lower rates of HIV and Hep C in the IDU populations in areas/countries that employ harm reduction strategies on larger scales.

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Program Director | Counseling Solutions Treatment Centers - Chatsworth


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 Post subject: Re: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epid
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:39 am 
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You'd think that alone would be an advert for HR, that BBV incidences are lower in areas with needle exchanges! I'm so glad that we have such easy access to everything here, and they'll even dispose of them for you. I cannot stand when people do not dispose of used needles properly, there is no excuse for just leaving them lying around!

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 Post subject: Re: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epid
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:28 pm 
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If you have the means to dispose of them properly I agree... but in areas where syringes are criminalized and considered "paraphernalia" and can carry a charge, well, what do you expect those people to do? They're going to just throw them out because if they tried to dispose of them properly they could catch a charge. That's why those policies are soooo ludicrous. At my clinic we have a sharps container in the patient area where they can dispose of used syringes no questions asked and then we'll dispose of them properly with our other biohazardous waste. But I think in many rural areas in the U.S. anyway folks just don't know about disposing of needles properly or know where they can.

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Program Director | Counseling Solutions Treatment Centers - Chatsworth


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 Post subject: Re: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epid
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:18 am 
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Yes, I do agree with you. What I really meant was when people just leave them around, like even here when you can get them properly disposed of, people will use them and leave them in parks/public toilets/bus stations etc.

That's cool that people can bring them to your clinic to dispose of them properly!

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 Post subject: Re: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epid
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:43 pm 
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I just hope more and more folks WILL bring them and dispose of them properly... we've just got to convince the patients there truly will be NO repercussions or "punishment." That's the tricky part. Patients are just so geared toward NOT trusting providers... I hope our clinic(s) can change that. :-)

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Zac Talbott, CMA
Email | zac@tnmethadone.org

Chief Operating Officer | Counseling Solutions Treatment Centers
Comprehensive Opioid Treatment Programs
Program Director | Counseling Solutions Treatment Centers - Chatsworth


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 Post subject: Re: Harm Reduction Is Essential to Combat the Addiction Epid
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:15 am 
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That's very true. If people know for a solid fact that there would be no repercussions to them, I'm sure that the vast majority would bring them back to be disposed of safely. Like everything in life, you're always going to get the 0.5% that just discard them where they are be that a kids park, a public toilet, an alley way, but that's nothing to do with them being in active substance use or worried about repercussions, it's to do with the type of person they are!! Inconsiderate!!

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