Advocacy For Syringe Exchange Programs

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Advocacy for Syringe Exchange Programs in Canada
Sylvia R. Beliveau
Drugs and Behavior
Saint Mary’s University

Syringe exchange programs seek to provide drug injection users with sterile syringes in order to prevent the user from contracting blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDs, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These programs are often controversial because they provide injection drug users with the means to use illicit drugs. Syringe exchange programs are based on the concept of harm reduction. It would be beneficial to advocate for syringe programs within Canada because they provide Canada with important services needed to protect public health. Syringe exchange programs can help to decrease the number of HIV infections among drug injection users within Canada and around the world.

yringe exchange programs are a very necessary service within Canada for which we should advocated. Syringe exchange programs help to reduce HIV infection rates among injection drug users while at the same time do not facilitate an increase in drug use (Wodak, A., 2006, p. 837). Syringe exchange programs provide injection drug users with sterile syringes for little to no cost (Zhang, S., Yan, P., Archibald, C., 2004). Contracting blood-borne diseases from sharing and using infected needles contributes to the overall epidemic and can spread to populations outside of injection drug users (Zhang, et al. 2004).

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