May Newsletter
View this email in your browser
May Newsletter: A Visit to InSite
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Four weeks ago, I invited clergy to join with me on a study tour to Vancouver to view the first legal, supervised injection site in North America. We joined 15 other clergy and service providers from across the United States to visit InSite and related harm reduction programs in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood in Vancouver. InSite exemplifies the public health approach to drug policy that CNDP strives to establish.

In this newsletter, I offer my observations. Fellow participant Mary Nelson, Executive Consultant to the Parliament of the World’s Religions, also shares a reflection.  

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp
Executive Director, Clergy for a New Drug Policy
Meeting Addicts Where They Are
By Rev. Alexander E. Sharp 

Every day in Vancouver, Canada, 600 to 1,000 drug addicts enter a non-descript, box-like building to inject themselves under medical supervision with whatever drugs they have brought with them, usually heroin, cocaine, or meth. Some do so as many as three times a day. They are participants in InSite, the only legal supervised-injection site in North America.

Once inside, first-time clients are interviewed by staff, who ask why they have come to the site. Clients pick up supplies they need in order to inject – which include clean needles and syringes. They inject in view of nurses and support staff, who do not assist but are available to minimize risk of injury. They then enter a lounge area, often stretching out on the floor as they come down from their high.

It is no accident that least 66 cities, covering nine other countries throughout the world, including Canada and five in Europe, have established harm reduction, rather than abstinence, as the guiding principle for responding to substance abuse. How long it will take the United States to follow their lead?
Read More
Building Community Through Harm Reduction
By Mary Nelson

I am intimately familiar with the devastation of drugs in my west side Chicago community, but I came to the Vancouver British Columbia visit as a novice to the “harm reduction” approaches of dealing with drug addiction. Our visit, organized by the founders of InSite, changed all that.

A long-term drug user shared, “When someone else cared about me, I cared about myself.” We glimpsed the image of God in those labeled drug users, and in acceptance rather than the urge to “fix” the person.
Read More
Take Action

-Contact your legislator to support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.
-Contact your senator to support veterans' access to medical marijuana.

Sign Our Religious Declaration
Copyright © 2016 Clergy for a New Drug Policy, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp