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Sask. aims to reduce spread of HIV, Hep C with clean, free crack pipes
The province is expected to start supplying free, clean crack and meth pipes in the next few months. (File photo)
Published Friday, November 9, 2018 6:40PM CST
Last Updated Friday, November 9, 2018 7:03PM CST
The province is set to give out crack and meth pipes as an effort to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.
The Ministry of Health says the goal is to transition users from needles and deter them from makeshift pipes.
“Smoking methods they're using today are cans and bottles and they cut lips and it spreads HIV and Hep C, so I think it's going to be a benefit that way," Health Minister Jim Reiter told CTV Saskatoon.
Safer inhalation supplies are expected to be available at more than 25 harm reduction sites across Saskatchewan.
Addictions specialist Dr. Peter Butt said the pipe program creates an opportunity to engage people that are using, and provide them with other services.
“And I think we need to put it in the context of a province that has the highest rate of HIV in the country. And we need to do everything we can to decrease that,” he said.
AIDS Saskatoon pushed for clean pipes in August.
“Making safer inhalation supplies available through Saskatchewan’s harm reduction sites and eventually community based organizations is an important step in addressing the harms associated with crystal meth use and other drugs,” Jason Mercredi, executive director of AIDS Saskatoon, said in a news release.
The province is expected to start supplying the pipes in the next few months.