Safe Needles for Southeastern Manitoba

Safe Needles for Southeastern Manitoba

Southeast Manitoba has been encouraging some of its injection drug users to take advantage of a new program developed to reduce the risk to their health and wellness, which appears to be based on harm reduction principles (MacLean, 2017).

The free needle exchange program will made available through Southern Health-Santé Sud in order to expand harm reduction programs in rural areas. recently rolled out its free needle program at all public health offices across the region in an effort to expand harm reduction programs to rural areas.

Regional Director Public Health-Healthy Living, Stephanie Verhoeven, said, “We don’t have specific information on what’s happening in our region but we do know that drug use does exist in rural Manitoba, and we know that we’re a small province and people tend to move around a lot.”

Much of Manitoba becomes – and in particular Winnipeg – the comparison case for this sector. With the offer of the service in rural areas, Verhoeven says, the service which Winnipeg has been providing for a long time, then the service will be provided to the rest of the province as well.

The Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority also has needle exchange program since 2015’s summer. The concern tends to come from concern about the cleanliness of the needles used and potentially reused by users, and so the same in this case.

Without proper supplies, clean stuff, the substance users and unfortunately the misusers will continue to use discarded needles. This increases the probability of the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

“It’s hard to say exactly how many people’s lives you’re touching when you make supplies accessible in this way,” she said.

The health region advises the public, if they come across discarded needles to do the following:

  • Use a sharps container, or a thick plastic bottle like a bleach container. Don’t use glass, which can break.
  • Put the container on a stable surface.
  • Wear thick gloves.
  • Use tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up needles.
  • Put the needle in the container and tape closed.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Drop off the container at a public health office or a pharmacy that accepts used needles.
  • Do not put the container in a recycling bin.

If you are pricked by a needle:

  • Allow the wound to bleed freely.
  • Don’t squeeze to encourage bleeding.
  • Quickly wash the area with soap and water.
  • Go to an emergency department.

References

MacLean, C. (2017, December 29). Southern health region launches safe needle program for drug users. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/injection-drugs-needles-southern-health-1.4467128.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-large

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He is a Tobis Fellow (2016) at the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center). He researches in the Learning Analytics Research Group, works as the Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Journalist/Blogger, researches and writes for the Marijuana Party of Canada, and is a contributor for The Voice Magazine. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Harm Reduction Helps Indigenous Populations in Saskatchewan

Harm Reduction Helps Indigenous Populations in Saskatchewan

Erin Petrow of the Saskatoon Starphoenix wrote on Indigenous communities within Saskatchewan showing signs of improvement with harm reduction practices implemented inside of the community (2017).

Dr. Ibrahim Khan, the chief medical health officer for Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch in Saskatchewan, noted a 10 % increase in HIV, while at the same time there has been a “massive increase of HIV testing in these communities.”

“The whole point in the HIV and Hepatitis C story is the earlier you can diagnose, the better you have a handle on stopping the spread,” Khan said, “but we want to increase that number — we want to even double that number in the coming years — so that testing is not an barrier.”

Harm reduction’s focus on the lowered harm to communities in spite of drug use becomes an important part of the message from Khan. Where the improvement in community outcomes comes from prevention, one big part of prevention is testing to identify in order to diagnose and treat, which can reduce negative long-term outcomes.

19 Indigenous communities throughout the province of Saskatchewan care for patients with the harm reduction approach through non-judgment. Other aspects of harm reduction relevant to the current opioid crisis include safe drug injective sites with safe needle exchange programs in addition to naloxone kits to avoid the potential fatal consequences of overdoses.

One big barrier for Indigenous populations around public services for drugs is the stigma associated with drug use and misuse in general. Khan says that is the biggest hurdle to access and treatment. HIV infection in Saskatchewan reserves sits at 14.5 people per 100,000. Southern Saskatchewan reserves have the highest rates at 108 per 100,000 people.

References

Petrow, E. (2017, December 4). Massive increase in HIV testing contributes to effective harm reduction programs in Sask. Indigenous communities. Retrieved from http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/harm-reduction.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-large

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He is a Tobis Fellow (2016) at the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center). He researches in the Learning Analytics Research Group, works as the Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Journalist/Blogger, researches and writes for the Marijuana Party of Canada, and is a contributor for The Voice Magazine. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Travis Lupick Speaks to Decriminalization and Legalization

Travis Lupick Speaks to Decriminalization and Legalization

Travis Lupick in the The Globe and Mail argued that decriminalization of some drugs does not go far enough. On Vancouver Island, construction workers completed a safety class. There weren’t ‘instructions on steel toed boots for proper lifting.’

Rather, it was on overdose responsiveness. That overdose responsiveness oriented towards drugs or substances. Clubs and Bars in British Columbia, Canada, have been undergoing similar workshops or trainings.

High schools are also engaged in similar training for teachers. There were 23 fatal overdoses per month in British Columbia in 2012. That was as high as 162 in December 2016. That number is significant across the country, with higher numbers coming out of British Columbia.

Overdoses mean death of family and friends of loved ones in Canada. The overdose epidemic is not to be taken lightly as far as I am concerned, especially for the disproportionately impacted Indigenous population. Overdose prevention sites and naloxone on-site through the streets of British Columbia are one measure to prevent overdoses that could lead to fatalities.

In terms of harm reduction as part of the solution set, it is an important part of it. Lupick spent over three years interviewing allies of drug users and drug users themselves. Some of the views expressed were that even though legalization may not become a reality then decriminalization would be a secondary consideration.

It will be better than nothing in other words. The process of decriminalization would take away penalties for possession of all drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. This would look at the demand-side the market. On the supply side of the market, legalization would look at production, distribution, and sale of heroin and cocaine. New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh said Canada should decriminalization personal possession of all drugs in order to divert people away addiction issues from police in prisons

References

Lupick, T. (2017, December 15). Decriminalization doesn’t go far enough. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/decriminalization-doesnt-go-far-enough/article37345776/.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-large

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He is a Tobis Fellow (2016) at the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center). He researches in the Learning Analytics Research Group, works as the Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Journalist/Blogger, researches and writes for the Marijuana Party of Canada, and is a contributor for The Voice Magazine. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.