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Fixed Needle Exchange Shutdown Essay

1870 words - 7 pages

This article outlines, through studies and research, how the shut down of the only fixed needle exchange in Victoria affects the social welfare of those needing to use clean sterilized needles. Due to complaints of the hazard issues and public disturbances from neighbours the fixed needle exchange shut down (Cleverley, 2010). As a result, there has been an increase in dirty needle usage which is causing an increase in health hazards, more than that of Vancouver (Cleverley, 2010). The sharing and use of dirty needles contributes to the spread of hepatitis C and HIV, which is a huge concern when it comes to public health (Cleverley, 2010). In order to re-establish and an effective well-run fixed needle exchange that will solely focus on providing a safe injection site to address the public health and public disorder the business community, health officials and the city need to work together (Cleverley, 2010).

Through this article I felt that a social policy of re-implementing a needle exchange program in Victoria is seen as a necessity for everyone. It is seen this way because it will help by preventing the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV that are caused by reusing and sharing needles (Cleverley, 2010). I was shocked to know that the spread of these diseases in Victoria was significantly higher than that of Vancouver for the past 3 years due to the shut down of the needle exchange (Cleverley, 2010). Also, I realized how big of an impact the needle exchanged program had considering the sharing and reusing of needles doubled within one year of its closure (Cleverley, 2010). The fact that this article was based on a study done by university of Victoria graduates was something I really appreciated. It is nice to see people from your school trying to bring awareness and shed light on an issue of this topic. One thing that I realized about this article what that it was very bias. There was no representation from anyone from the side that complained about the fixed needle exchange back in 2008 or anyone who is in the situation of reusing and sharing needles. There were only the thoughts and the opinions of Victoria Council Philippe Lucas and I wish there was more representation from others.

The problem in this article is being framed by providing facts, through studies and research, as to how the needle exchange program benefitted needle users and how the sharing rate has increased since its closure. Since the closure of Victoria’s needle exchange in 2008 the number of needles distributed monthly dropped to about 30,000 a month from 45,000 (Cleverley, 2010). Also, a comparison to Vancouver’s needle exchange program was used to show readers that there are benefits to having a needle exchange facility. Vancouver has several needle exchanges where as Victoria has had none since 2008 and because of that needle sharing has jumped to 23 per cent in late 2009 from 10 percent in early 2008 compared to Vancouver’s which remained...

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