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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NYC Funded a Guidebook for Heroin Users

New York City funded a guidebook for heroin users that gives detailed instructions on how to prepare drugs for injection and how to limit risks of infection. The guidebook has the DEA all up in arms about the "Take Charge Take Care" guide; the DEA special agent-in-charge John Gilbride commented on the handbook to the Associated Press, claiming the handout was a "step-by-step instruction on how to inject a poison". This revolutionary guidebook will certainly set precedence for any other state health agencies to get approval for similar handbooks. The DEA must think that giving instruction on safe injections will further addiction, ultimately leading people down a worse road than they were already on.

However, the NYC guidebook "Take Charge Take Care" will help facilitate in the battle of infectious diseases. Not to mention the amount of taxpayers' dollars that will be saved by helping avoid infection, thus keeping addicts away from emergency rooms. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene printed about 70,000 copies of the controversial guidebook with the hope saving lives. The combination of needle exchanges and the new guidebook will certainly show positive results. Assistant Commissioner Daliah Heller said to the AP, instructions on how to perform injections were included because there's "a less harmful way to inject." Education is the greatest weapon against drug addiction despite how contrary it may seem at times.

Addicts caught in the depths of despair often feel like there is no option available and that they will die at the hands of their addiction. Providing addicts the opportunity to acquire clean needles, instruction on injecting, and free HIV tests will help facilitate many addicts in finding treatment. That is the ultimate goal of the creators of the new guidebook - help people help themselves!

I encourage you to watch the short video below. The video echoes some of the common misconceptions about heroin users. The fact is that many heroin users do not know how to correctly inject drugs which causes terrible health issues both short and long term. There are a lot of people damning Mayor Bloomberg's decision to approve the guidebook; but, in the end this guidebook will do more good than harm.

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