Vancouver is upping the ante in its efforts to fight the risks of crack addiction: The city will soon give out free crack pipes to users. Officials hope the plan will help prevent the spread of diseases through shared pipe use and will allow health authorities to reach out to users. The city already distributes clean mouth pieces; in giving out pipes, it will join cities like Calgary and Winnipeg, CBCNews reports.
As health workers build connections with crack users, the users may be encouraged to seek help, says an advocate. “Will these services stop them from using drugs? For some people it will, but some won't,” he notes. “Some will continue to use drugs but use them safely, some will cut back, and some will die, but their lives and health will be greatly improved.” Some city officials are also hoping to create a “safe-inhalation” site that would allow users to smoke in front of health workers; the workers could provide aid should anyone overdose. (Read more Vancouver stories.)