The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has published a guidebook for intravenous drug users titled: "Take Charge Take Care - 10 Tips for Safer Use." It offers smart and important information on preventing disease, bodily harm, or death, while using heroin or other intravenous opiates. Tips include what to do if someone overdoses: lay the individual on their side to prevent choking, administer Narcan if you have it on hand; How to find your veins: jump up and down prior to shooting up, (a warm body increases the visibility of your veins); or what to do with used needles: dispose of them in a thick container such as an empty laundry detergent bottle, label it as toxic waste, and dispose of them at a hospital, where it is noted, they have to take them.
View the full pamphlet on Flickr or in a slideshow below:
Opiate use has been reported to be responsible for 70% of all drug misuse deaths. The information contained in this pamphlet can help an addict maintain their health and extend their chances for recovery, in effect buying someone time until they enter a treatment facility. In turn, likely saving a life.
Unfortunately, the men at the United Stated Drug Enforcement Agency take a different view, with 1010WINS quoting DEA Special Agent-In-Charge John Gilbride as calling the pamphlet, which clearly falls under disease prevention and health care services, "very disturbing."
Cue righteous indignation by the New York Post in 3...2...