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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

CANADA: Canadian Rehab Center Installs Crack Pipe Vending Machine


New York Post (02.09.2014)

The New York Post reported that in an effort to draw in addicts off the streets, a Canadian drug treatment facility installed a crack pipe vending machine six months ago. The facility, run by Portland Hotel Society in Vancouver, is trying to reach hard-core addicts by selling the 25-cent pipes in a bright, polka-dotted machine that resembles machines that sell candy and snacks. Supporters, which include local law enforcement and city officials, believe selling the inexpensive pipes in a controlled, supervised location may encourage users to seek treatment. It also prevents addicts from contracting HIV or hepatitis C through cuts from reusing cracked and corroded pipes. Purchasing pipes from street dealers also is more expensive. The crack pipe vending machines are “one piece of the larger puzzle,” said Kailin See, director of the Portland Hotel Society’s Drug Users Resource Centre. “You have to have treatment, you have to have detox, you have to have safe spaces to use your drug of choice, and you have to have safe and clean supplies.” Supporters say the machines are akin to needle exchange programs for IV drug users. Critics argue addicts should not be given easy access to drug use or paraphernalia and that law enforcement should enforce the drug laws and that addicts are a danger to communities.


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Information in this article was accurate in February 18, 2014. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.