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Canadian City to Give Away Free Crack Pipes

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In an effort to curb the rising rate of HIV and Hepatitis, and ultimately reduce the number of those using drugs on the streets of downtown Vancouver, the Canadian government has decided to give out free crack pipes. The pipes are shatterproof and heat resistant in an effort to protect users from mouth injuries.

Authorities say that the reduction in mouth injuries will translate into less HIV and hepatitis infections. They will also be handing out literature with the paraphernalia about treatment services. The cost of the project are minimal, the project’s estimated total cost is $60,000. The “kits” include mouthpieces, filters, screens and alcohol swabs, as well as the drug treatment literature.

As with most drug treatment that includes giving away drug paraphernalia, the program is not without controversy. Canada’s Drug Prevention Network asserts that, “All this does is aid and abet. What we should do is put that same amount of money into treatment and prevention… because treatment and prevention work.” The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority spokeswoman, Trudi Beutel, says the program is, “… about preventing more communicable diseases which land these people in hospital on a frequent basis and clog up emergency rooms.”