New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defends pamphlet for heroin users
By Trish LaMonte
January 06, 2010, 9:20AM
New York City's "10 Tips for Safer Use" pamphlet on heroin.New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending a decision by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to print a pamphlet for heroin users, which offers information on how to prepare drugs carefully and how to care for veins to avoid infection.
"I would certainly not recommend to anyone that they use hard drugs or soft drugs," Bloomberg said on Monday. "But our health department does have an interest in if you're going to do certain things to get you to do it as healthily as you possibly can."
Tips in the booklet include: "Drop the cotton directly into the cooker. Don't touch it!" and "Warm your body (jump up and down) to show your veins."
John Gilbride, New York's top official with the Drug Enforcement Administration, calls the brochure a 'step-by-step instruction on how to inject a poison.'
The 17-page pamphlet also offers information on HIV testing and the dangers of sharing needles. It has been in circulation since June 2007, but the city has faced increasing pressure over the past few days to withdraw the publication.“You’re spending taxpayer money and getting a how-to guide for first-time users,” said City Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., a Democrat from Queens. Vallone said he plans to meet with the city's health commissioner this week to encourage him to withdraw the pamphlet.
WCBS: See the heroin pamphlet (PDF)
NY Times: Public officials attack New York's heroin pamphlet
NY Post: NYC narcotics prosecutor blasts 'heroin how-to' pamphlet
CNN: NYC heroin pamphlet - is it a help or a how-to guide?