Newsbrief: German Health Ministry Says Safe Drug Centers Save Lives 9/27/02

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Following pioneering efforts in Hamburg and Frankfurt in the mid-1990s, the German Health Ministry in April 2000 authorized the nationwide opening of safe drug centers where users can inject under medical supervision. All but three of Germany's 16 lander, or administrative regions, have open up such centers since then. This week, the Health Ministry released research results showing that the centers saved lives and helped drug addicts quit.

The Health Ministry contracted with the Center for Social and Psychological Research in Bochum to survey the 21 centers between November 2001 and this July, and the survey found that of 2.1 million drug-taking incidents at the centers since 1995, some 5,500 had resulted in a medical emergency. None of those medical emergencies within the confines of the safe drug centers resulted in a fatality, the survey found.

More than half of the addicts interviewed by researchers reported making contact with withdrawal programs, with most mentioning detox centers (23%), followed by other healthcare centers (20%) and hospitals (19%).

"Only those who survive have a chance of coming off drugs," said secretary of state for drug addiction Marion Casper-Merk, lauding the centers' contribution to reducing drug-related deaths and addiction.

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Issue #256, 9/27/02 Editorial: The Tulia Lynchings | Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally in Sacramento | WAMM Files Federal Motion for Return of Marijuana Seized in Dispensary Raid | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Former British Drug Czar Mo Mowlam Calls for Total Global Legalization, Cites Need to Quit Funding Political Violence | UC San Diego Orders Student Group to Drop Hyperlink to FARC Web Site, Cites Patriot Act | Colombian Leader Meets with Bush, Paramilitary Leader to Surrender Following US Indictment | Newsbrief: Putin to Create Russian DEA | Newsbrief: RAVE Act Sheds Another Cosponsor | Newsbrief: Buzzkill -- Venerable DC Weekly Rave Party Dies from Overdose of Ecstasy Enforcement | Newsbrief: UN Drug Control Chief Warns Canada Not to Legalize Marijuana | Newsbrief: French Cannabis Growers Create Facts on Ground | Newsbrief: German Health Ministry Says Safe Drug Centers Save Lives | Do You Read The Week Online? | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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