Folks:

I thought you would be interested in the minutes from last October’s City Council Roundtable on Opioid abuse and addiction, which I have attached. This is really scary and wide-ranging stuff with a very distinct impact in Cambridge, especially in Central Square. Along those lines, I had a fascinating tour of the
Needle Exchange, part of the Aids Action Committee, in Central Square several weeks ago. I was very surprised at the various services offered by the Exchange program and the Committee in general, to include toiletries, a daytime drop in space, clean needles (and a place to safely drop off used needles) and more. If you are interested in this issue, I suggest you contact the staff there for your own tour. Arguably, if people are going to be addicted to substances like heroin, they’re going to use needles to shoot up and it appears that giving addicts access to clean needles cuts down hugely on the instances of AIDS and Hepatitis C, which in turn cuts down hugely on both the human toll of those diseases and the expenses to treat them. This article, though a bit old, is an interesting discussion of needle exchange programs. I am certain that managing the behavior associated with addicts using the Needle Exchange will remain an issue for Central Square this term, but, arguably, the fact that they’re using the Exchange allows us a better chance to impact problematic behavior than if they were all sharing needles in doorways and alleys in the area. If nothing else, I’ve got to admit that, especially on a day like today, I’m glad I am not an addict because it really looks like a miserably tough life even with places like the Needle Exchange.                                     

 

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