Hamilton’s board of health is moving forward on a plan to reduce the spread of infectious disease while reducing the number of drug overdose deaths in the city.
It has approved the distribution of safe crack pipes as a means of reducing sharing and ultimately the spread of HIV and Hepatitis-C.
The “safer inhalation kits”, as they are known, are offered at no cost to local public health units by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.
The city will also expand, at a cost of 260 thousand dollars, the availability of Naloxone, which stops an overdose and has been credited with saving lives.
Councillor Terry Whitehead says the “harm reduction strategy” is about helping individuals who have lost control, by helping them “regain control in a safe environment”.
Councillors have also voted to study the possibility of offering safe injection sites. That 250 thousand dollar cost will be considered as part of the 2017 budget.