Re: “No fan of Insite,” Letter, Sept. 8.
MP Joy Smith states there are “no peer-reviewed, scientifically sound studies that support claims that safe injection sites save lives and have significant success in helping their clients to become drug free.”
This is either misinformed or intentionally misleading.
Since 2003, Insite, Vancouver’s supervised injection site, has been subject to more than 30 peer-reviewed studies which found a reduction in public injecting, lower levels of HIV risk behaviours ( e.g., syringe sharing ), an increase in uptake of addiction treatment among the facility’s clients, and a reduction in overdose deaths.
These findings have been published in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, the Canadian Medical Association Journal and The Lancet.
It is indisputable that Insite saves lives. The fact that the majority of injections occur away from the facility merely affirms the need for an expansion of its services.
While greater investment in prevention and treatment is crucial, abandoning proven harm reduction measures will lead to a mounting HIV and hepatitis C epidemic and tragic deaths among our most vulnerable populations. This would certainly not be “doing better” for people with addictions.
Sandra Ka Hon Chu,
Pubdate: Fri, 09 Sep 2011
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2011 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Sandra Ka Hon Chu
Note: Sandra Ka Hon Chu is senior policy analyst for the Canadian HIV/AIDS