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.
- 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.
Member-at-largeScott 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.