I am a former health officer of Humboldt County and a strong advocate for needle exchange, a harm reduction activity proven to be effective in reducing disease, increasing acceptance of treatment by injection drug users and reducing syringe litter (NCJ Daily, Aug. 20). HACHR plays a vital role in our community as a trusted source for injection drug users for overdose prevention, HIV and hepatitis-C testing and referrals for Medication Assisted Treatment, veteran's services, mental health services and wound care. They provide food, clothing and assistance with housing.
I have worked with HACHR in the Humboldt Harm Reduction Coalition and can vouch for the integrity of the board and staff. They are mission driven and community minded. Their policies and actions clearly do not promote drug use or selling on HACHR property. They actively clean up syringe litter. They have initiated meetings with city and county staff and officials to avoid problems and misunderstanding. Unfortunately, there are vocal community members who blame syringe litter on SEPs, despite data to the contrary. I encourage Eureka City Council members and staff to continue direct dialog with HACHR rather than rely on impressions from sting operations by undercover investigators.
Ann Lindsay, McKinleyville