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13545British Columbia Needle-Exchange Program Includes Crack Pipes

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  • Alley
    Nov 28, 2003
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      (yes it's 4am Texas time and I'm wide awake still :)

      British Columbia Needle-Exchange Program Includes Crack Pipes

      To curb the spread of hepatitis C, a needle-exchange program in Prince
      George, British Columbia, gives out clean crack pipes to addicted
      individuals, the Prince George Citizen reported June 13.

      "We're trying to keep the younger ones from getting hepatitis C," said
      Linda Keefe, program coordinator and nurse. "It's not that we're saying,
      'Hey, you should be smoking crack cocaine.' But you try to reduce harm,
      disease, and maximize contact with marginalized groups and build

      Keefe said the decision to add clean crack pipes to the needle-exchange
      program was made after healthcare workers reported an increase in hepatitis
      C cases and learned that children as young as age 12 and 13 were smoking
      crack cocaine.

      Although Keefe acknowledged that the clean needles and crack pipes are a
      "Band-Aid" remedy, she said, "We're not in a position to change social
      problems; we're dealing with the results of social realities."

      Other Canadian communities, including the Sunshine Coast, Nelson,
      Parksville, Whitehorse, and Toronto, also have crack-pipe exchanges.

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