Newsletter HRC Police Drug Residue and NEx US 2008 by epRQRLT


									                         HARM REDUCTION
                           Harm I T I O N
                         C O A LReduction

August 2008
Volume 1, Number 2        About this Issue

                          This newsletter is dedicated to John Becker, one of three plaintiffs in a New York City lawsuit
   IN THIS ISSUE          brought against the New York City Police Department to challenge the practice of arresting
                          syringe exchange participants on drug residue charges. Becker courageously testified about the
About this issue    1     harms of this policy, arguing that his ability to return used syringes and obtain new ones was
                          affected by his fear of being arrested. Represented by Corinne Carey (then at the Urban Justice
Delaware case study:      Center’s Harm Reduction Law Project), John and his fellow plaintiffs ultimately prevailed in
"Harmonizing Harm         court. The judge ruled that the City had not made its case why their interests in arresting and
Reduction, Community      prosecuting people for minor drug offenses should prevail over the public health need to collect
Concerns and Law          potentially infectious syringes. This court decision resulted in substantive change to law
Enforcement"         2    enforcement policy, improving the climate for syringe access on a citywide scale. Later that
                          year, John passed away at his home.
Other resources to
                          However, law enforcement practices and policies continue to pose a challenge for syringe
reduce the harm of
                          exchange programs and participants in New York City and across the country. This issue
law enforcement
                          focuses on strategies to maintain syringe exchange program integrity, protect participants’
encounters         4
                          rights to safe syringe access, increase effective dialogue with law enforcement, and ultimately
                          effect legislation reflective of the IDU community’s basic human right to safely accessible,
News briefs         5     quality, and culturally appropriate health care.

Take action         7     The centerpiece of this issue is a comprehensive case study based on a collaboration between
                          the American Civil Liberties Union – Delaware and Brandywine Consulting, a local harm-
Our programs        8     reduction outreach, education, and substance abuse treatment services provider. The case
                          study includes a toolkit about how to engage and train local police officers as well as valuable
7th National              lessons learned. Also in this issue, you will find that we have included a number of links to
Harm Reduction            related resource materials, SEP related news briefs, HRC program updates, and policy &
                          advocacy items.
Conference          8
                          I hope that the tools in this issue will help us get closer to the goal of full syringe access for all
                          people who inject drugs.

                          Timothy Maroni
                          SEP Program Specialist, California Technical Assistance Project
                          August 2008
                                                     Harmonizing Harm Reduction, Community Concerns,
                                                     and Law Enforcement: Strategies from Wilmington, DE
                                                                                             Basha Silverman and Leo Beletsky

                                On June 30th, 2006, Delaware’s Legislature passed Senate Bill 60, creating a five year
Hilary McQuie                   pilot needle exchange program in the state capital of Wilmington. This was the
Timothy Maroni                  culmination of a decade-long battle by state HIV activists to legitimize access to
Nab Dasgupta                    sterile syringes for the state’s injection drug users. Based on the legislation,
Leo Beletsky
Corinne Carey                   the Division of Public Health (DPH) selected Brandywine Counseling- a local harm-reduction
Donald Grove                    outreach, education, and substance abuse treatment services provider- to administer the
Rosanne Scotti                  program.
Basha Silverman
                                Prior experience of needle exchange initiatives elsewhere suggests that new programs face
Design & Layout:                many obstacles. Chief among these are community opposition and police interference. In
Rona Taylor                     partnership with the local ACLU Chapter, Brandywine developed a multi-prong game plan to
Le Shawn Jackson                avoid and address these problems. This article describes these strategic solutions,
Dawn Beggs                      concluding with references to resources that may guide readers interested in harmonizing
                                police and community relations.

The Harm Reduction              Building Community and Stakeholder Support
Coalition is a national         In order to solicit input on logistical issues and build buy-in, our staff at Brandywine began
advocacy and capacity-          forging ties with local resident and community groups long before the program was scheduled
building organization that      to begin. The first step was to obtain a list of registered community and civic groups, find the
promotes the health and         contact person and beg to be added to their next meetings agenda. The key was to “know
dignity of individuals and      someone who knows someone” but when that wasn’t possible, we made the first phone call
communities impacted by         cold. Having built up the networks, we conducted a number of town-hall style meetings with
drug use. HRC advances          faith-based groups and concerned citizens. At these community meetings, we presented
policies and programs           statistics on the rise of HIV and its specific impact on underserved communities, highlighting
that help people address        the effectiveness of needle exchange in addressing this and other public health and public
the adverse effects of          safety problems.
drug use including
overdose, HIV, hepatitis C,     In the context of this discussion, we sought approval for locating mobile sites in the
addiction, and incarceration.   neighborhood. We also solicited feedback about the best locations, hours, and other facets
                                of NEP implementation. Over the course of six months prior to the launch of the program,
                                Brandywine conducted several such meetings each week. One year later, we are making
We recognize that the           follow-up visits to report on the progress and solicit community feedback.
structures of social
inequality impact the lives     Our success with the local residents prompted us to reach out to other stakeholders—both
and options of affected         sympathetic and unsympathetic to the NEP. We assembled a list of all of the faith-based
communities differently,        organizations, city council persons, city workers and departments as well as other social
and work to uphold every        service organizations which we felt we needed on our side. We tailored our message to target
individual's right to health    each group. For example, with church leaders, we stressed our commitment to the health and
and well-being, as well as      well-being of the community. We reached out to the city inspectors with the offer that they
in their competence to          could call us anytime to dispose of any syringes they discovered, making their job less
protect themselves, their       dangerous. We also equipped them with sharps containers which we promised to dispose of
loved ones, and their           and replace once they were used. Overall, our message to the public servants, community,
communities.                    and faith-based groups was that we were serious about public safety, public health, and
                                professionalism. Each of these groups has become strong supporters of our initiative.
                                Ultimately their support has had a positive effect on the quality and sustainability of our
                                services. It also helped us when it came to garnering support from police.

                                HRC • Volume 1, Number 2 • August 2008                                                          2
Police behavior can make or break the effectiveness of a NEP. Many US laws restrict sale and possession of syringes (Parker et al.,
2000; Burris 2000). Even when these laws are amended to enable harm reduction interventions, law enforcement officers typically
do not know about the changes, do not understand how the public health policy should shape their practice, or simply choose to
ignore the new regulations because they see them as misguided (Maher
and Dixon, 1999; Beletsky et al., 2005; Small et al., 2006).                       “Our goal was to preempt misinformation,
                                                                                   distrust, and conflict between NEP staff
As a result, police may continue to arrest injection drug users (IDUs)             and clientele on the one hand and the
for possession of the now legal injection equipment, confiscate or
                                                                                   local police department on the other.
destroy this equipment, or treat participation in harm reduction
programs as a marker of illegal behavior. (Doe v Bridgeport Police                 …This strategy consisted of three parts:
Department, 2001; Roe v City of New York, 2002; Koester, 1994; Martinez            prevention, monitoring and response.”
et al., 2006; Maher and Dixon, 1999; Beletsky et al., 2005)
These practices counteract and impede the implementation of public
health initiatives, thus limiting their impact and misusing public resources (Roe v City of New York, 2002; Kerr et al., 2005; Cooper
et al., 2004; Friedman et al., 2006; Case et al., 1998; Burris et al., 2004; Bluthenthal et al., 1999).
Our goal was to preempt misinformation, distrust, and conflict between NEP staff and clientele on the one hand and the
local police department on the other. Our activities included forging institutional communication, providing law enforcement
training, and establishment of several negative feedback mechanisms that help check problems before they develop into
dangerous patterns. This strategy consisted of three parts: prevention, monitoring and response.

Lessons Learned & Conclusion
                                                  Preliminary data suggests that our work has had its intended impact.
                                                  Early investment in prevention has created a positive relationship
between the new NEP, community stakeholders, and the local police department. Now, more than a year into the
implementation stage with nine mobile sites, the NEP has reported no incidents of police harassment or interference.
The program's clients, all of whom are systematically surveyed about encounters with law enforcement at the point of
service have reported only 4 problematic incidents. As planned,
these incidents triggered managerial response and booster              DELAWARE PROJECT TOOLKIT:
trainings for street-level officers. In fact, police have started      PREVENTION & MONITORING
referring clients to the program.
This initiative has demonstrated that early and persistent legwork             English downloads:
will pay off. In this, tailored networking lays an important
                                                                               Police Training (PPT)
foundation. Programs need to think creatively about how to tailor
messages to different stakeholders and frame each issue around a               Police Info Card (PDF | DOC)
tangible benefit to that group. The prevention, monitoring, and
                                                                               Client Know Your Rights Card front:
response toolkit we offer provides a strategic framework for working           (PDF | DOC) back: (PDF | DOC)
with community and law enforcement to maximize the impact of
harm reduction programs. Excerpt only. Full article can be found online at     Client Know Your Rights Fliers                     (PDF | DOC)

 When police are acting within the law in ways that harm your                  Client Know Your Rights Training (PPT)
 participants, those encounters should also be documented so                   MONITORING
 that we have the evidence to advocate for a change in laws. In
 particular, we are collecting case studies of harassment or                   Intake/Exchange Survey (PDF | DOC)
 arrests for syringe possession in CA in order to support
                                                                               Outreach Survey (PDF | DOC)
 legislative change to decriminalize syringe possession. Please
 document as thoroughly as possible, and send Hilary McQuie                    Incident Report (PDF | DOC)
                                                                               Spanish download:
 Reporting police misconduct                                                   Client Know Your Rights Card front:
 Reporting misconduct may help a victim win a lawsuit or                       (PDF | DOC) back: (PDF | DOC)
 prove coercion, and 3 is crucial to capture the right details.
 Use the incident report form from DE, or utilize the Just Cause
 Law Collective's misconduct form.                                                HRC • Volume 1, Number 2 • August 2008
Reducing the Harm of Law
       -                                          Background research on SEP’s and law enforcement
Enforcement Encounters
                                                       Relationships of deterrence and law enforcement
                                                        to drug-related harm among drug injectors in U.S.
As the articles to the right discuss, it is not         metropolitan areas Samuel R. Friedman, Hannah
unusual for law enforcement encounters to               L.F. Cooper, Barbara Tempalski, Maria Keem, Risa
curtail service provision for program                   Friedman, Peter L. Flom and Don C. Des Jarlais
participants. Syringe exchange programs may
need to reduce the harm of these encounters.           The Impact of Legalizing Syringe Exchange
The following are links to more general police          Programs on Arrests Among Injection Drug Users
monitoring & protection tools that can be               in California, Alexis N. Martinez, Ricky N.
adapted to the needs of your programs.                  Bluthenthal, Jennifer Lorvick, Rachel Anderson,
                                                        Neil Flynn, and Alex H. Kral

Know Your Rights                                       Do Not Cross: Policing and HIV Risk Faced by
                                                          People Who Use Drugs Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal
Educating your program participants on their              Network - March, 2007.
constitutional rights, and recognizing and
responding to tactics often (and legally)         Defending Your Rights
employed by police to get folks to give up        In CT, the ACLU mounted a successful defense that
their rights, will help them and their            expanded protections to needle exchange program
attorneys protect themselves later.               participants. Briefs from this case can be found here:
                                                  - Documenting PD abuses and seeking to expand the scope
 Consider printing out & distributing ACLU’s     of needle exchange protection.
  classic “bust card” to your program   
  participants.                                   -- A post-trial brief reviewing the evidence introduced at the
 Just Cause Law Collective materials - basic     trial may be viewed at:
  information about your rights and dealing
  with police and the criminal justice system.
 Midnight Special Law Collective materials -     Post-conviction
  more basic information about your rights        This is a useful guide from the Bazelon Center for Mental
  and dealing with police and the criminal        Health Law to what happens to people's benefits when
  justice system.                                 they are incarcerated and how to get them back.

Other Harm Reduction Police Training Modules

New Mexico Syringe Exchange Program - Law Enforcement Training Captain Sonny Leeper's presentation
covers the New Mexico Harm Reduction Act of 1997 and focuses on how police officers can protect
themselves from needlesticks.

New York Police Academy Training November 2004. This training was developed by the Injection Drug
Users Health Alliance to train new police officers on the law around the legal status of syringes.

Prevention Point Philadelphia has both a national (16 min.) and local (to Philadelphia, 33 min.) video that
were professionally recorded and printed and come in a plastic commercial case. The cost is $10, plus $2
shipping. To order them click here.

Law Enforcement and Harm Reduction: Advocacy and Action Manual This practical resource from the Asia
Regional HIV/AIDS Project provides direction for those working in the harm reduction field and advocating
for understanding and support for their services from law enforcement agencies.

Triangle Points in North Carolina has an excellent collection of harm reduction resources for law
                                                                           NEWS BRIEFS
                                                                                    million toward treatment, it did not fund the exchange
                                   CALIFORNIA                                       programs, making it difficult to reach IDUs. According to a
    Lake County Authorizes Syringe Exchange                                         2005 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, at least 43%
    Programs Still Unauthorized in Most of State                                    of the state's 48,000 HIV/AIDS cases were transmitted
    A legal needle exchange program is closer to becoming a                         through needles. While the state has tens of thousands of
    reality after the Lake County Board of Supervisors became                       IDUs, there are only a few hundred enrolled in the four pilot
    the 18th county in the state to authorize. This leaves forty                    programs so far. All the programs are operating on a
    counties to go. California counties without authorized                          shoestring.
    syringe exchange have some of the highest rates of HIV
    related to injection drug use. In Kern and Solano, for                          In Newark, advocates sought for and received $67,000 from
    example, nearly-half of HIV cases are IDU-related; yet neither                  three foundations to get the project provided by the North
    has a syringe exchange program, nor authorization. The                          Jersey Community Research Initiative off the ground.
    Clean Needle and Syringe Act passed last year, allows the                       Paterson's needle exchange program, housed at the Well Of
    use of State funds for syringe exchange - but only if locally                   Hope Drop-in Center three days a week, received $44,500
    authorized. Immediately following the Board’s action, Lake                      from two foundations. Paterson was able to cut costs by
    County Sheriff Rodney Mitchell said he wanted to join the                       employing two people who are paid with money from the
    discussion on how to operate a legal exchange program. "I                       drop-in center instead of the needle exchange. In its first 3-
    have some operational questions that a working group may                        months, the program distributed 9,200 syringes and
    be able to explore as the county's policy and ordinance is                      enrolled about 141 people. In Camden, the program is run
    developed.” In the meantime, the illegal, underground                           out of the state’s only mobile unit. The program has one
    exchange, Any Positive Change: Lake County that has been                        part-time employee and three volunteers. The $70,000
    providing its services on a volunteer basis for 13 years will                   budget for 2008 from private foundations covers supplies,
    continue to operate.                                                            the employee's salary and upkeep of the van. Atlantic City
    Excerpted from: “Clean needle program gets thumbs-up” & “Sheriff Mitchell,      has garnered about 296 clients at the Oasis Drop-In Center
    Supervisors consider ‘legal' exchange for syringes” Record Bee (Lake County)    in its first 6-months. The oldest of the four pilots, it also
    February 26 & March 13, 2008 By Tiffany Revelle, Record-Bee staff
                                                                                    received $25,000 from the city.
                                                                                    Excerpted from: “Needle exchange puts focus on safety: Pilot program helps addicts
    Stanislaus grand jury: Exchange could curb HIV, hep C                           in four cities” / Star-Ledger (New Jersey) / May 27, 2008 / By Jessica Durando,
    Citing the county police chief’s 2006 letter saying, "there                     Star-Ledger Staff & “Needle-Exchange Pilot Program in New Jersey Is 'Struggling' To
    may be merit in a needle exchange program", the report                          Enroll IDUs” / AP/Long Island Newsday / February 23, 2008 / By Mulvihill, AP/Long
    states, "Both the public health and law enforcement                             Island Newsday
    approaches can coexist with the common goal of harm
    reduction in Stanislaus County ... by providing new syringes
                                                                                                                 NEW MEXICO
    to injection drug users in exchange for dirty syringes." The                    Intranasal naloxone
    grand jury suggested the county follow the guidelines of a                      Last year, the OD Prevention-Naloxone distribution
    2006 state law recommending needle exchange as a public                         component of the NMDOH Harm Reduction Program began
    health benefit. The report also points to a syringe exchange                    an intranasal Narcan pilot project. The impetus for this
    in Fresno that is administered through private contributions.                   evolution away from IM delivery was the discontinuance of
    The hepatitis C report was one of two investigations                            the manufacturing of the 0.4 mg injectable preload by IMS
    published in July. The other focused on the county's                            Limited. After much discussion with clinical staff, some
    correctional facilities. Stanislaus County is on pace to                        discussion with colleagues around the country, and a state
    record 620 new hepatitis C cases this year, up from 519 in                      pharmacy with almost no Narcan, we decided to quickly
    2007. To view the full report go to: GrandJury                                  implement this pilot with very close monitoring of reports
    Excerpted from: “Stanislaus civil grand jury: Needle exchange could curb HIV,   from participants using the medicine in their communities.
    hepatitis C” Modesto Bee (Modesto) July 2, 2008                                 So far, all anecdotal reports are favorable. A brief survey to
                                   NEW JERSEY                                       better measure perceptions of efficacy, precipitation of
    Make that 4 for NJ                                                              withdrawal symptoms, duration of action, and whether
    After a debate by the Legislature that went on for years, in                    participants actually like using it, is in use. The project uses
    December 2006, Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law a bill that                     the 2mg/2cc needleless luer lock made by IMS in
    allows six cities to establish needle-exchange programs and                     combination with the Wolfe Tory Mucosal Atomization
    provides millions to drug treatment. To be eligible, a city                     Device. The reports so far are very positive, with no one
    must have at least 300 IDU-related HIV/AIDS cases per                           reporting problems reversing the overdose or people being
    100,000 residents and at least 350 confirmed cases                              thrown into withdrawal.
                                                                                    Excerpted from: “RE: IN Narcan”-Email HARMRED Listserv February 14, 2008 By
    overall. Each program is required to report data on the                         Bernie Lieving, LMSW/NMDOH
    number of people referred to drug treatment and the status                                                         TEXAS
    of their treatment. People who participate in and run the
    programs are required to carry identification cards to protect                  Needle-exchange operator, DA clash
    them from being arrested for possessing drug                                    In San Antonio, Bill Day, 73, is the source of clean syringes,
    paraphernalia. While the state government allocated $10                         which Day sees as his calling from God to prevent the
                                                                                    spread of disease. The Bexar County district attorney sees

5                                                                                                             HRC • Volume 1, Number 2 • August 2008
                                                                      NEWS BRIEFS

  it differently. Backed by an opinion from the Texas attorney                       One in 20 residents is thought to have HIV, and 1 in 50 to
  general, District Attorney Susan Reed says she can                                 have AIDS. PreventionWorks! operates a program and will
  prosecute anyone in possession of drug paraphernalia,                              receive a $300,000 city grant. The remaining $350,000 will
  regardless of the reason they have it. Unless the Legislature                      go to developing new exchange programs, including mobile
  makes it otherwise, Day can do no more than exchange                               clinic, outreach, and fixed-site programs.
  nods with the people he once worked after police ticketed                          Excerpted from: “City to Spend $650,000 on Needle Exchange Programs”
                                                                                     Washington Post January 3, 2008 By David Nakamura, Washington Post Staff Writer
  him in January. "I am really angry," Day said, pointing to
  piles of used needles under a bridge on the West side.                                                        UNITED STATES
  "Every day we're not out here, someone is getting HIV. No                          Big Picture: an overview of data from The 2007 National
  one thinks, 'They're giving away syringes, let's go get some                       Survey of Syringe Exchange Programs (The only source of
  heroin,'" said Day, who co-founded the nonprofit Bexar Area                        national data about syringe exchange programs in the US).
  Harm Reduction Coalition in 2003. Some exchanges are                               To view the annual overview please visit: SurveyOverview. To
  authorized, some aren't, and some operate underground.                             view a brief powerpoint presentation of the date go to:
  But even where they aren't authorized it's rare for law                            SurveySlides. To view related editorial go to: SurveyEditorial
  enforcement to take a hard line, authorities often look the
  other way because they believe the needle-exchange                                 Overdose deaths on the rise, CDC says
  provides a public service. Day started passing out needles in                      According to the CDC, between 1999-2005 there has been
  San Antonio over a year ago. Around the same time, the                             a stunning 87.5% increase in unintentional drug poisonings;
  state Legislature authorized San Antonio, Bexar County to                          many of these attributed to heroin as well as prescription
  set up a pilot program. Lawmakers hoped to use the pilot to                        opioids such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet. During that
  pass a statewide program in 2009. But Reed said anyone                             time, prescription drugs have become the leading cause of
  with a needle was breaking the law. "I just had to make a                          lethal overdoses. Overdose deaths have been increasing
  decision as the chief law enforcement officer in the county                        since the early 1990s. But the recent rise has been so
  whether this would be a program, whether they (the pilot                           dramatic that it is driving the first sustained increase in 25
  program) were excluded out of the penal code," Reed said.                          years in the nation's overall injury death rate. At the height
  "If they had gone forward, would they be in violation? It's just                   of the fentanyl outbreak, HRC and other advocacy groups
  a question of law." The Attorney General backed up Reed,                           detailed a five-point strategy to reduce death by overdose in
  saying people who possess paraphernalia as part of a                               a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It
  needle exchange can be prosecuted. The cases are on hold                           includes programs ranging from surveillance of overdose
  until the Legislature meets next year. Unfortunately, Day                          related deaths, to street drug testing, to increased
  said if he gets back on the streets, it’ll be months before                        availability of self-administered naloxone. The CDC report
  he's able to regain the trust, and dirty needles, of those with                    echoes many of these recommendations in its own analysis.
  whom he's worked. When he started he would get only 15                             Excerpted from: “Overdose deaths on the rise, CDC says” Los Angeles Times January
  or 20 dirty needles back a month. In the six months before                         26, 2008 By Mary Engel & Daniel Costello, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
  he quit, he said he got back more than 10,000.
  Excerpted from: “Needle-exchange operator, DA clash” The Associated Press (San
                                                                                     HRC’s July 24 Press Release in response to the CDC report,
  Antonio) / July 19, 2008 By Elizabeth White, Associated Press Writer / Jennifer    the five-point strategy, and the CDC report can be found on
  Farrar, AP News Research Center contributed                                        our website at the following links: PressRelease,
                                                                                     5ptStrategy, and CDCreport.
  Free needle exchange use soars
  Jefferson County program isn't new, it's just increasing in
  visibility. In 2000, the program exchanged 506 syringes. In
  2007, it exchanged 24,585.          Representatives at the                         Toronto - City health officials re-examining use of retractable
  department said that the increase has come in part from                            syringes in exchange programs
  people simply becoming aware of the availability. The clinic                       City health officials are looking at several different types of
  also offers prevention kits, tourniquets, cookers, cottons,                        safety syringes. The most common is the retractable or
  fresh water, needle containers, alcohol preps, antibiotic                          onetime use syringe. There are also safety needles that
  cream, Band-Aids, condoms, and prevention literature.                              come with special tips to protect from getting pricked. Also
  Excerpted        from:      “Free   needle exchange use                   soars”   in Toronto, the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter recently
  Penninsula Daily News (Port Townsend) / March 24,                          2008    decided to change its exchange policy and now only gives
  By Erik Hidle, Peninsula Daily News
                                                                                     clean needles in exchange for used ones. There are 13
                           WASHINGTON, DC                                            agencies in the city that offer free needle exchange as part
  City to Spend $650,000 on Needle Exchange Programs                                 of an effort to reduce the spread of HIV and hep C. Some
  In the wake of Congress's decision to end a ban on the city's                      city councillors and residents have praised the new policy,
  use of public money, the District will invest $650,000 in                          believing it will mean fewer needles discarded in parks and
  needle exchange. The funding is an important step in a                             playgrounds. However, some agencies involved in needle
  larger effort to reduce the rate of HIV-infection among                            exchange say it could lead to more sharing of used needles
  residents. The city has one of the highest rates in the nation:                    and won't necessarily result in fewer syringes on the streets.

HRC • Volume 1, Number 2 • August 2008                                                                                                                                   6
                                                                              NEWS BRIEFS
    The city conducted a 2002 feasibility study looking at the                      exchange the past two-years, but once upon a time the
    cost and safety of onetime use needles. It determined they                      exchange had neighbours who actually wrote letters
    were too expensive for the mostly province funded exchange                      supporting it, and a day-care centre right across the street.
    program. The needles the agencies currently hand out cost                       Those days are long gone for reasons that have little to do
    about 11-cents, while the safety syringes were more than                        with the needle exchange itself. Most notably, the number
    $1. The price has since come down to less than 50 cents                         of people using the exchange has increased dramatically --
    for retractable and safety tip syringes. Health officials will                  from 500 clients in 1996 to more than 1,500 today, with no
    soon begin testing the different syringes on their short list.                  concurrent increase in funding. Up until a small lift last fall
    When they conducted tests six years ago, some of the                            in the midst of a community uproar, the exchange had been
    needles were defective. To read HRC’s fact sheet on single-                     juggling triple the number of clients with the same staffing
    use syringes go to: SingleUse. To view related research go                      levels as a decade ago.
    to: SingleResearch
    Excerpted from: “Safe Needles Eyed: City health officials re-examining use of   The drugs have changed as well. Both cocaine and crystal
    retractable syringes in exchange programs” Sun Media March 15, 2008             meth are injected far more frequently than heroin. That has
    By Elisabeth Johns
                                                                                    increased traffic at the exchange. Then there's the sheer
    Victoria, BC – Needle exchange vans skip core                                   volume of people out there. The number of people living on
    Neither of the two vehicles slated to cover the proposed                        the streets has grown fivefold since the exchange moved to
    route for AIDS Vancouver Island’s (AVI) new mobile needle-                      its location in 2001. With most other services closed at
    exchange will actually enter the downtown core. The                             night, the exchange evolved into a place where the street
    decision to keep the vans out of downtown was made out of                       community could hang out. No surprise, then, that the
    consideration for the busyness of the area. The downtown                        neighbours gradually worked themselves into a fury over the
    will be served by two outreach workers on foot. Unlike the                      discarded needles, garbage, and “dirty people”. The owner
    previous fixed indoor-site, the mobile exchange will not be                     of the building that housed the exchange gave notice last
    able to offer education, support, counselling, or advocacy                      fall that the service had to go. Months of fruitless searching
    services. Victoria is the first major city in Canada to pull the                followed. With the eviction date looming, AVI had no choice
    plug on its needle exchange. At the end of May, the region's                    but to go mobile. Up until now, we've had one needle
    largest needle exchange closed its doors and began a                            exchange; in the near future, we'll have one wherever the
    mobile service. Now the exchanging of as many as 2,000                          van stops. AVI staff is especially worried about the clients
    needles a day will be done on the street. The needle                            who like to maintain a low profile -- the ones who stop by
    exchange is going mobile because no place can be found for                      every night after work to pick up a needle or two. They're
    it. Victoria has had a needle exchange for almost 20 years,                     not going to want to risk being identified by having to make
    operated by AVI. You'd never know it from the hand-wringing                     their exchange in a public place. Excerpted from: “Needle exchange
                                                                                    enters untested waters” Times Colonist (Victoria) / May 9, 2008 / By Jody Patterson
    and hysteria that has accompanied any mention of the                            & “Needle-exchange vans skip core” / Monday Magazine (Victoria) / May 21, 2008

     T A K E A C T I O N : Lift the Federal Ban!
Urge your representative to co-sponsor the
Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention Act of 2008
Your activism to lift the federal ban on syringe exchange funding has made a difference.

For the first time in 20 years, we have legislation in Congress!
HR 6680, the Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention (CAHP) Act of 2008,
introduced by Representative Jose Serrano on July 30 with 25 original co-sponsors,
would eliminate all laws which prevent federal funding from being used by state and
local jurisdictions for syringe exchange.
Now we need to find as many additional co-sponsors as possible for this legislation.
Please send an email today urging your Representative to co-sponsor the CAHP Act of
2008, and encourage your friends, families and networks to do the same.
                                                                                                                       Don’t miss James Wortman’s
Click here to send an email: SendEmail                                                                                 article entitled “Moving the
                                                                                                                       Needle on Syringe Exchange”
Read the full text of HR 6680 at: HR6680                                                                               from the July 2008 issue of Poz
Learn more about the campaign at: FEDbanCampaign                                                                       magazine. Go to:

7                                                                                                                 HRC • Volume 1, Number 2 • August 2008
The Institute @ HRC                                               The National Syringe Access
- Capacity Building, Training, Technical Assistance               & California Technical Assistance Projects
The Institute @ HRC is the capacity building, training and        These projects are designed to provide technical assistance
technical assistance arm of the Harm Reduction Coalition.         to syringe exchange programs at all phases of development
The Institute provides skills building training and education     and in diverse settings across a broad range of issues (please
both in New York and California to agencies & individuals         see the section of our website called Practical Resources for
working with drug users. The Institute also provides              Syringe Exchange Programs). For programs based in
trainings, in-services, and workshops on a variety of harm        California contact Timothy Maroni at 510-444-6969, ext. 12.
reduction issues to service providers and the general public      Another good resource for getting a syringe exchange started
throughout the United States. Our areas of expertise include      is the North American Syringe Exchange Network:
Hepatitis C, Buprenorphine, Overdose Prevention, Syringe
Exchange, HIV, Safer Use, and Injection Drug Use.                 Policy/Advocacy
To schedule a contract training in New York, contact Rebecca      The Harm Reduction Coalition’s Policy Department advocates
Stryjewski at 212-213-6376, ext. 18 or Hilary McQuie in           for harm reduction approaches to improve the health of drug
California at 510-444-6969, ext. 11.                              users and their communities. The Policy Department seeks to
                                                                  create change on the local, state, national, and international
Resources & Publications                                          levels through a range of strategies including direct advocacy
HRC provides state-of-the-art information on methods for          with policy makers, policy analysis, education, and coalition-
reducing drug related harm, and current information on            building. To get involved with some of our current policy
regional and national activities, through brochures, manuals,     initiatives please visit our website at: TakeAction.
bulletins and the Internet. To purchase these harm reduction
materials please go to: the HRC Shop.

           7TH National
                  HRC sponsors and organizes regional
                  conferences and, biannually, the only
                  national harm reduction conference in the
                  United States. HRC conferences provide a
                  critical and unique forum for the exploration
                  and development of harm reduction practice,
                  theory, and policy.
                  The 7th National Harm Reduction Conference
                  will be held in Miami, Fl, Nov. 13-18.
                  For information about attending or
                  co-sponsoring the conference, please contact
                  Paula Santiago at 212-213-6376, ext. 15
                  or visit our website @ HRCconference.
                  Speakers and abstract titles for the
                  "7th National Harm Reduction Conference:
                  Towards a National Policy" are now listed on
                  the website @ ConferenceAbstracts.

Pre Conference Institute on Crack Cocaine
We are looking for individuals interested in
organizing the agenda for the Pre-conference
Institute on Crack to occur the day before the                                               Harm Reduction Coalition
opening of the 7th National Harm Reduction
Conference. The pre-conference will provide a forum                                          22 West 27th Street, 5th Floor
to bring all interested harm reductionists together to                                       New York, NY 10001
learn from each other and develop action-based
strategies. For more info and to join the listserv,
visit: CrackPreConf.
                                                         8                                HRC • Volume 1, Number 2 • August 2008

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