Scotland - Needle Exchange

By Helene · Aug 8, 2009 · ·
  1. Helene
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Just found this article from the Scottish Daily Record. Aside from being surprised by the levels of ignorance with which people still react to harm reduction measures, I was also mildly shocked by the fact that these packs have been made available in Scotland so recently. They've been available from many chemists in England and Wales for a good few years now. Considering that Scotland has far more heroin addicts per capita than England or Wales, shouldn't this be an even higher priority there?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Exclusive: Fury as heroin addicts get "one hit kits" from Boots[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Jun 26 2009[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]By Steven Stewart [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]HEROIN addicts are getting free "one hit kits" packed with syringes, spoons and drug taking equipment from chemists Boots.[/FONT]
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    The move has triggered fury from anti-drug campaigners.
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    But health chiefs say the packs will ease the spread of hepatitis C in the west of Scotland.
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    The One Hit Kits, available at 85 sites in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, contain dozens of needles, "cooking-up" spoons, swabs and citric acid to prepare heroin.
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    But Helen Mackenzie, secretary of the Families United Support Group, said it was, "like giving 200 cigarettes to someone who was trying to give up smoking".
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    Helen, 59, added: "These kits are a disgrace. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw them.
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    "The people who decided to introduce this initiative obviously have no idea what it is like to see their son or daughter dying from heroin addiction.
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    "How can they have a health warning on a pack of cigarettes but not on this - full of syringes and drug taking material? These kits have every single thing an addict needs except the heroin.
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    "They are making it too easy for these addicts. The pack has the jazzy name 'One Hit Kit' and some of the packaging suggests this is aimed at younger people.
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    "This type of thing encourages a new generation of drug addicts. It is capitalising on pain and addiction. I am disgusted that this kind of thing could be available free to people."
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    Last night, NHS Greater Glasgow defended the kits, which were introduced in February.
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    Carole Hunter, lead pharmacist in the Addictions Partnership, said: "There are more than 50,000 people with hepatitis C across Scotland and 95 per cent became infected through injecting drug use.
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    "Needle exchange has been hugely effective in reducing HIV cross-infection and the One Hit Kits are designed to deliver similar reductions in the spread of hepatitis C."
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    Paul Bennet, standards director for Boots, added: "This service takes a harm reduction approach to drug use and aims to reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses."
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