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Friday, November 27, 2009

Crack Inhalation Room Where Addicts Can Go To Smoke Their Cocaine

There is talk in British Columbia about an experimental new study that would help the government determine why HIV and AIDS rates among Crack smokers are rising. The plan on the drawing board is to set up a crack inhalation room where addicts can go to smoke their cocaine in a sterile environment in order to see if it stops the increase of HIV/AIDS numbers. "Researchers tracked 1,048 crack cocaine users over a nine-year period and found that 137 became HIV positive. The reason for the increase is not definitive. But researchers, which included the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, said disease transmission could be attributed to wounds produced around the mouth when smoking crack from a pipe", according to the Vancouver Courier. British Columbia is well aware that the war on drugs is not being handled properly and that drastic steps may be needed if the problem is going to be helped. Obviously, let's face it, there is a lot of hesitation regarding this subject matter; having a place where Crack smokers can get high just seems counter-intuitive.

Proponents of the trial inhalation room like Dr. Evan Wood, who was behind the study that showed the spike in HIV/AIDS rates among Crack cocaine users, point to the United States as an a reason for trying out the controversial inhalation room. "He pointed to research in the United States that showed a high number of people incarcerated for cocaine offences who are not receiving treatment. He noted the so-called "war on drugs" in the United States and in Canada has done nothing to stem the flow of drugs. Wood suggested he could buy drugs in less than 10 minutes of walking outside the Carnegie Centre, the location of the press conference", reported the Vancouver Courier. Canada has always had a more relaxed view on drugs than the United States; it is not surprising that leaders would be interested in such a drastic experiment.

The inhalation rooms could be a place where councilors and doctors could have a chance to help addicts get into recovery. Ultimately, if drug use drops then it stands to reason that disease rates would too. It wouldn't be a bad thing to have an experiment to determine how the virus is being transmitted, but, it seems the number one objective should be getting the addicts off the streets by providing the option of treatment as much as possible. Prevention is always the best answer in a country where crack and methamphetamine use is rising.

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