vidTO: Safer Crack Use Kits


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"I have a lot of respect for crack because it is the one thing that can destroy everything I am, everything I have, in a shorter time than any other drug I have ever experienced. It totally destroyed everything I said I would never do for drugs...[It] just ruined everything. Everything I thought I wouldn't do, I couldn't do, I did on crack...for crack. Well, that's crack, a real serious drug. Makes me a total paranoid vegetable. I hallucinate. I become psychotic. And I don't know how I am still alive. This human body can take a lot, but, crack has destroyed some parts of my brain that are not going to come back. Luckily I don't have AIDS [or] Hep C. Luckier than a lot of my friends..." ~ 50 year old female, former crack user
(source)

Unless you're a user, know one personally, or are involved in drug addiction education or treatment, crack cocaine is not something you're likely to know much about first hand. Did you know, for example, that in addition to the social, emotional, and physical hardships posed by crack addiction, crack users sharing homemade pipes are at high risk of contracting Hepatitis C and HIV?

The Queen West Community Health Centre, in conjuction with Toronto Public Heath aims to reduce disease transmission risk amongst crack users by distributing free "safer crack use kits".

Is this an appropriate way to spend tax dollars? If it saves lives, I'm all for it. If it creates ties between otherwise isolated, desperate addicts and existing community outreach programs, I'm even more for it.

For more information on drug use in our city, please consult the Drug Use in Toronto Report (2004), and for more on the crack kit project, please see the Distribution of Safer Crack Use Kits Fact Sheet (2006).


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