Below is an article quote about a program that gives out free crack pipes to drug users in Seattle as a health prevention program.
The article is from “U District needle exchange gives out free crack pipes”, By VANESSA HO, Seattle Post Int. article
“For more than 20 years, local heroin addicts have relied on a collection of needle exchanges for clean works. But in recent months, crack users too have quietly found an outlet in the city. In a nondescript alley in the University District, users can pick up clean crack pipes, pipe filters and ascorbic acid for injecting crack. Heroin users can also pick up a drug that reverses a heroin overdose — an apparent first for a city needle exchange. “We take a different philosophy approach than most government institutions or public health departments. They have a budget, and have to pick and choose who they’re going to help,” said Shilo Murphy, executive director of the non-profit People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, which runs the U-District needle exchange. “We say this is our community, this is our neighborhood, and we should decide what we have at the table.”…
“…Just as sterile syringes reduce the spread of HIV and other diseases, new and unbroken glass pipes are believed to prevent lip cuts and the spread of hepatitis strains. Rubber tips and new filters ward off mouth burns. Ascorbic acid helps prevent users from using lemon juice to dissolve cocaine rocks into an injectable liquid — a common practice that can lead to fungal infections. “Our program is primarily an HIV prevention program,” said Michael Hanrahan, manager of education and prevention services of the HIV/STD program with Public Health — Seattle & King County. The agency, which runs four exchange programs, has watched the demand for clean needles surge from 1.8 million in 2006 to nearly 3.4 million last year…”
“We believe all drug users should have the right to not get diseases and have the ability to prevent diseases.”
— Read more on the Seattle project to hand out free crack pipes
— Read more on the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance (here’s a quick summary of the program:)
We offer safe disposal of used needles, access to new needles and clean supplies, referrals to other pertinent services such as detox and treatment options, and now free Hepatitis C testing and vein care, all in a non-judgmental environment.
Can such crack pipe exchange program work in Seattle? Or is it another drug prevention program gone awry?