Monday, May 29, 2006

DRUG CONSUMPTION ROOMS

An "independent working group" in UK reviewed drug consumption room experience in various countries over the course of 20 months. Main conclusions: they "are a rational and overdue extenson to the harm reduciton policy ... [They} offer a unique and promising way to work with the most problematic users..." Available online at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/bookshop/details.asp?pubID=785

One has to wonder what the ojections mght be in locales where needle/syringe exchange is already a reality - e.g., in New York and elsewhere in the USA. Active heroin users come to a site and are given sterile needles and syringes, and then depart to use heroin off premises. What could possibly be the argument against allowing them to stay in the exchange facilities (assuming there is space available) and using there? And yet, no such proposal seems to have been made - or at least, pursued. Why not?

2 Comments:

At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been "self-medicating" since I was 9 years old: starting with mariauna with an older brother who wanted to "teach me" todo it correctly, onto heavy, **** please excuse spelling errors; yes college educated but truely believe spelling is a gift not one of mine*** uncontrolled alcohol usage from 13-30 (agmented with several mixed experiences with cocaine, LSD, Extasy and the like). Never being offered heroine, I thought I had dodged the bullet of addiction. This was how life was lived, not even realizing the illigality of it all, nor the emotional stagnation of my personality. In my early 30's I was itroduced to the "needle". Oh, I had tried snorting cocaine in college, sometimes "breaking even" and or even having some left for the morning after!!! Little did I know my "manageble" addictions would turn into the dragon it has over the last 10 years. Once I felt that cocaine go straight to my "pleasure zones", and never feeling that out of control extacy before (fore my own natural highs were the best...climbing a mountain, swimming in the ocean, meeting exciting new people, or taking a new college course that wideopened my mind to a new way of thinking!!) I knew I was in big trouble and within a month I attented my 1st N.A. meeting where they stated "alcohol was a drug too" which ment I'd have to give up my true medicinal relief. I couldn't phanthem giving that up (yet). Suffice it to say my addictio spun quickly out of control. Promises to stop if I did such and such or after such and such date where soon discarded in my search for my next high. I hit bottom within months of trying iv cocaine...seeking treatment for the first time being so torn apart when I saw myself neglecting my two oldest children who were just babies at this point. Fast forward 10-15 years and I am still am battling my addiction, guilt, remorse, arrests, more treatments. Now to the point of your artical and if you've read this far...THANKYOU...it sure is nice to have a forum to express simular ideas... I am currently using on again/off again the "new" drug "ice." I do not drink anymore; my alcoholism leads me to loose "control" and I can't do a thing on it. Anyway, what gets me is buying "diabetic syringes- u100, 1 cc. without a perscription is a real crapshoot down here in the south where practically every drug fiend is a junkie! Some Walgreens sell you some, some not. Some take id's, some not. I don't like to lie or to be looked on as if I were a junkie asking for some. I am a junkie but I believe it is in the best interest of the health care industry to just sell us our needles and be done with it no questions asked. Sometimes I want to tell these condecending pharmasists, "Well, hey I'll just use this needle for the 4th time or I'll just have to use "X"'s used one and hopefully with a little chlorox or hot water it will be clean enough or shit I gotta dig through the trash to find one I didn't flush. I don't get into these situatins as much as I used to for I've accepted a part of my addiction where I don't slink up to the counter anymore asking for what I need. Nor do I flush the last needle down the toilet promising this is my last shot only realizing withing hours (minutes) my resolve wasn't that strong after all! Don't get me wrong I am striving for a clean and sober life, get periods of short-long term sobriety after certain harrowing experiences with the law who feel they have every right to your household destruction because you are obliviously trying ot hit a vein in your darkened closet. War on drugs...Drug consumption rooms? Worlds apart! Not every drug addict is a "criminal"...at least how I believe criminalality is defined... stealing, killing, general maham to others which is already against the law, even maybe the selling of these drugs in great amounts (maybe) should be against the law. But desperately trying to live the life as a self medicating, lifelong addict, who yes, may be genuinely hurting those around her, but doing no real criminal act; to be threated (or actually doing) some real long prison time is just one more nail in our coffins. I truely hope one day I will become a lawyer or "activist" and voice this miscarriage of justice and offer us poor souls something safe...like a drug consumtion room with clean sharp needles. From Kittywinks

 
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