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Canada: Health Officials, Advocates Call on Abbotsford, B.C., to End Needle-Exchange Ban

July 11, 2012

In Abbotsford, British Columbia, health officials are asking for a review of a 2005 zoning bylaw effectively banning all forms of harm-reduction, including needle-exchanges and safe-injection sites, in the city.

The Fraser Health Authority recently pointed to statistics showing that Abbotsford has some of the province's highest rates of overdoses as well as HIV and hepatitis C. The FHA proposal to the city council asks for a needle-exchange program phased in over several years, beginning with distribution through community organizations and eventually introducing mobile and fixed-site services. FHA also is investigating whether the city can legally enforce a bylaw that restricts a health care service.

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See Also
Ask Our Expert, David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., About Substance Use and HIV
Needle Exchange & HIV/AIDS: Canada

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