Wow, does time ever fly. The year 2016 is gone, and 2017 is here! It's been quite some time since I've posted, and I've had several of you reach out to make sure things are alright; so I wanted to take a quick moment to update everyone on how things have been going. TL;DR: Things are good! I can't complain, anyways.
I am an opioid user who is currently not using. Hold the applause; this isn’t about my “triumph” or whatever you want to call it. The time came for me to stop and I did, how is irrelevant. While I haven’t been using for about six months I am in a relationship with someone who is currently still using intravenously and this means I have to accommodate that fact in my life.
I must say, I've been fairly impressed with the changes made by our new Liberal government and Minister of Health, Jane Philpott. While the reaction time has been lagging, some significant steps have been taken in order to help protect the health and lives of Canadians who use drugs. While we aren't even halfway through 2016, let's take a look at what's changed so far this year!
While opponents of harm reduction initiatives have long cited numerous reasons as to why such services are indeed causing harm rather than actually reducing it, research has shown that these programs are in fact leaving a lasting positive impact on the communities and drug users that implement them.
Data from Canadian studies has shown that the percentages of people who inject drugs with a used needle have varied from just under 9%, up to 27%. Unfortunately, needles are far from the only item being reused or shared.
Cookers, filters, sterile water, ascorbic acid and tourniquets are among some of the other popular items that are being used on more than one occasion and/or shared amongst the sexual partners, family and friends of intravenous drug users.
While advocates of harm reduction initiatives have long cited the critical need for the distribution of clean, sterile supplies to intravenous drug users; educating and informing users regarding the dangerous practice of supply sharing, as well as its risks is crucial in order to prevent the further spread of communicable diseases and infection.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is the most widely known and well researched treatment for opioid dependency. However many of those considering this as a treatment option for opiate addiction, and even some patients currently on methadone, have hesitations towards certain aspects of treatment or are unaware of how to maximize the effectiveness of treatment.
I have personally found tremendous success through Methadone. A MMT patient for just under 2 years now, I have gone from a homeless IV drug user, to a functional person, once again full of life and potential. It has truly given me the opportunity to reclaim my life, and has the ability to do the same for many addicts in need of treatment; but if you are not taking full advantage of all methadone has to offer, the power of addiction can win.
Here are 5 simple ways to help maximize success in Methadone Maintenance Treatment!
Imagine being in desperate need of emergency medical attention and unable to seek help for yourself, yet not a single person witnessing your distress is planning on providing assistance or calling for help from emergency responders...
When it comes to saving lives and preventing unnecessary deaths due to drug overdose, Good Samaritan Laws, also known as overdose or 911 laws, are absolutely essential. Yet it wasn't until 2007 that the first Good Samaritan style law was adopted in the United States by New Mexico, and even today in more than 30 states, calling for help from the scene of an overdose could possibly land you behind bars. Pretty sobering stuff, right?
More frightening news coming out of Russia. The drafting of a new bill proposes that HIV positive patients, as well as those with other dangerous diseases be required to submit to fingerprinting, which would then be contributed to and stored in a national database.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
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