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Medical prescription of heroin does not pose neighborhood risk
Date:2/17/2009

This release is available in French.

Montreal, February 17, 2009 Providing heroin to drug addicts at medically supervised clinics does not pose risks to surrounding neighbourhoods, according to a new study by Serge Brochu, a researcher at the Universit de Montral School of Criminology. Brochu found that the Montreal leg of the NAOMI project, otherwise know as the North American Opiate Medication Initiative, didn't have a negative impact on its surrounding neighbourhood.

Launched in 2005, the NAOMI project did not foster increased criminal acts, dangerous debris, deviant behavior or emergency interventions in its downtown community. A comparable study of the Naomi project's sister clinic in Vancouver, led by Neil Boyd of the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, also found the impact of that heroin clinic to be negligible. The NAOMI-CI (Community Impact) studies were launched simultaneously in Montreal and Vancouver to measure the community impact of the experimental NAOMI project.

As part of his study, Brochu and his team interviewed close to 40 residents, business owners, police officers, security guards, social workers, kindergarten employees and homeless people between May 2005 and June 2008. Police data (criminal and uncivil acts) was obtained from the Service de police de la Ville de Montral for the period from 2002 to 2008. What's more, Brochu and his team undertook 150 observational walks in the streets, alleyways, parks and parking lots within a 200-meter radius of the NAOMI clinic in to assess the levels of debris, deviant behavior and observable emergency interventions in the heart of the experimental sector.

Data collected during the neighborhood walks revealed that the quantity of drug injecting debris (syringes, needle covers, stericups, spoons, etc.) decreased significantly. What's more, the NAOMI clinic had
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Contact: Julie Gazaille
j.cordeau-gazaille@umontreal.ca
514-343-6796
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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