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I Have Watched People Killed By Our Insane Drug Policies

Needle exchange programs save lives. Why are they still controversial?

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Syringe exchange is only one segment of a broader harm reduction strategy, which I will explore at a later date.

If you have an hour to spare at some point, I encourage you to watch the following documentary. It will give you a better picture of what we face in the battle for harm reduction, from the perspective of all of those concerned with this issue.

To Do No Harm

"To Do No Harm" deftly examines and uncovers the personal, racial and sociologic bias against addicts. Resistance to the concept of Injection Drug Use (IDU) as a disease or public health issue that continues to color the perception of many American citizens. The documentary gives viewers an inside look at the four legal state-mandated Needle exchange sites in Boston, Cambridge, Northampton and Provincetown. Since their inception, the Department of Public Health of the State of Massachusetts has been unable to acquire the necessary permissions from local governments to open a fifth site anywhere in the state. This has been at least partly due to a lack of education surrounding the merits of harm reduction techniques when employed to combat the strong connection between drug addiction and the spread of HIV.

"To Do No Harm offers a harrowing and sobering journey into the lives of intravenous drug users, needle exchange activists, and political and civic leaders working to promote harm reduction philosophies here in America," said Mark W. Baker, ASGCC Executive Director. "Aside from highlighting Needle Exchange Programs, this work provides insight into the relationship between the employment of Harm Reduction strategies in reducing the risk for several other public health problems like Hepatitis C and HIV."

To Do No Harm - Part 2


To Do No Harm - Part 3


To Do No Harm - Part 4




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