Harm reduction survey

November 11, 2008 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

This survey got lost in the more than 24 questionnaires that have been lobbed at me. I might have missed the deadline but I’m putting it here anyway.

1. Do you favour the re-opening of a fixed site needle exchange in the city of Victoria?

Yes, with additional supports like satellite sites including pharmacies and VIHA clinics. This is dependent on adequate funding. The members of the Downtown Residents’ Association are concerned the mistakes of the Cormorant exchange will be repeated elsewhere. This is why we advocate sustained and adequate funding from VIHA.

2. Do you support the opening of a safe consumption site (like that of InSite in Vancouver) for the City of Victoria?

Supervised consumption has been proven beneficial. Multiple sites would be appropriate for Victoria.

3. What does the term harm reduction mean to you?

It means treating addiction as the health problem it is and taking the steps necessary to get addicts stable and healthy.

4.  What role do you see harm reduction playing in the creation of a healthy, thriving Victoria?

Solving addiction issues is crucial to the well-being of Victoria. Residents, businesses and tourists depend on it.

5. What actions will you take to ensure the City of Victoria follows the principals of harm reduction?

Commitment to making sure the findings of the Mayor’s Task Force are followed through. Co-operating with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness to ensure addicts are given the opportunity to turn their lives around.

6. What is your position on the current ‘war on drugs’ and the Victoria Police Department’s approach to substance use and users?

It’s ineffective. Our focus must be on punishing those that prey on addicts and helping addicts get the help they need. A Community Court similar to the ones in New York, Portland and Vancouver is something I advocate. It is more effective and more humane than present strategies.

7. What, if any, alternative approaches to current drug laws have you considered? Please describe.

The NAOMI project is one. Giving opiates to addicts instead of letting them buy it on the black market would require commitment from other levels of government but it is worth considering.

8. What further commitments or additional comments would you like to make on your position on drug use and harm reduction, as they affect your candidacy?

My goal has always been one of getting addicts the help they need. I have been following this issues through my work as Chair of the DRA as well as a member of the Downtown Service Providers and the DVBA’s Clean and Safe Committee. There I learn from front-line leaders in the harm reduction field and I’ve learned a lot from them.

Entry filed under: Harris Green, needle exhange, safe injection sites, social issues.

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