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UK News: Cops Give Needles to Drug Addicts

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  • Alley
    COPS GIVE NEEDLES TO DRUG ADDICTS Nov 6 2003 Plan to cut disease By Georgina Balston POLICE are to hand out needles to arrested drug addicts to battle a spread
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2003
      COPS GIVE NEEDLES TO DRUG ADDICTS

      Nov 6 2003

      Plan to cut disease

      By Georgina Balston

      POLICE are to hand out needles to arrested drug addicts to battle a spread
      in deadly diseases. The addicts will have their needles taken from them
      while they are in custody and replaced with a pack of sterile injecting
      equipment. Grampian Police say the policy is needed to stop thespread of
      infections carried in the blood, such as HIV and hepatitis C.

      But the family of a woman stabbed in the head by an addict mugger last year
      have criticised the move. Julie Fyvie, 24, has now recovered from the
      shocking attack in Aberdeen last year. Her stepfather Michael Pirie, 37,
      said: ``The police should be trying to stamp out drugs altogether. ``This
      will just encourage users to take drugs.''

      Force drug co-ordinator Inspector Les Johnston said the move was a
      practical one. He said: ``The unfortunate reality is when we release
      somebody from custody, they will be able to find drugs. ``If we get rid of
      their injecting equipment, there's a possibility they will share needles.
      ``There is a high incidence of blood-borne viruses in the area and
      injecting drug users are at particular risk.''
      Mr Johnston said the packs issued would include details of drugs
      rehabilitation services and needle exchange schemes.

      Grampian will introduce the policy at all their main police stations in
      January.

      Tory health spokesman and north-east MSP David Davidson used to run a
      needle exchange at a pharmacy and welcomed the move.
      He said: ``Exchange programmes cut disease and the cost to our health
      service.''

      Source URL:
      Online search at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/
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