Injection Sites For Addicts Until Questions Answered
Says Minister Clement, Canada
Initial research has
raised new questions that must be answered before
Canada's new government can make an informed decision
about the future of Vancouver's drug injection site or
consider requests for any new injection sites says
Federal Health Minister Tony Clement.
"Do safe injection sites contribute to lowering drug use
and fighting addiction? Right now the only thing the
research to date has proven conclusively is drug addicts
need more help to get off drugs," Minister Clement says.
"Given the need for more facts, I am unable to approve
the current request to extend the Vancouver site for
another three and a half years."
Minister Clement has deferred the decision on the
Vancouver application to December 31st, 2007, during
which time additional studies will be conducted into how
supervised injection sites affect crime, prevention and
treatment. Insite operations will continue during this
The Minister also noted he will be working with his
federal counterparts at Justice and Public Safety, along
with the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, to
accelerate the launch and implementation of a new
National Drug Strategy (NDS), which will put greater
emphasis on programs that reduce drug and alcohol abuse.
"We believe the best form of harm reduction is to help
addicts to break the cycle of dependency," Minister
Clement said, "We also need better education and
prevention to ensure Canadians don't get addicted to
drugs in the first place."
Health Canada will not entertain any applications for
the establishment of additional injection sites in other
parts of Canada until the NDS is in place, and the
Vancouver review is completed.