Cash for safe drug injection “off mark”

How about getting these people into treatment? Do they have waiting lists for treatment in Australia?

…Jann Stuckey said the Queensland Injectors Health Network was distributing flyers headed: “Wanna make some cash?”

They offered $110 cash payments to intravenous drug users willing to teach others safe injecting techniques, or, “learn a bit, share a bit and make a bit”.

Ms Stuckey said it was not a responsible way to deliver a harm minimisation program.

“To pay drug addicts in this manner, knowing that the $110 will almost certainly be their next hit, is grossly irresponsible,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

Ms Stuckey said she believed the program was not effective because it did not focus on getting people off drugs.

“Without that support, these facilities are nothing more than needle hand-outs,” she said.

“The public have for many years been led to believe these are needle exchanges, and sadly, this is not true.”

Premier Anna Bligh said Queensland Health had ordered the advertisements be withdrawn at least six months ago.

She agreed the program, jointly funded by the state and commonwealth governments, would offend some people, but said “unconventional” methods were sometimes required.

“Sometimes they have to go to extreme lengths to engage with these people,” Ms Bligh said.

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