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DEA Not Fan of Heroin Guidebook by NYC Department of Health


Meant to educate heroin users on safe needle use and infection prevention, the how-to guidebook for heroin users is not getting rave reviews from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The 16 page illustrated pamphlet was funded by New York City. The how-to guidebook for heroin users includes instructions on how to prepare drugs carefully and how to care for veins to avoid infection.

DEA Special Agent-In-Charge John Gilbride is reported to say the handout is "very disturbing," calling the pamphlet a "step-by-step instruction on how to inject a poison."

After reading the pamphlet, I did not find it to be encouraging use of heroin or any other drug. It provides encouragement to call for help and support in stopping drug use: 1-800-LifeNet (1-800-543-3638) or 311. The number can be called anytime day or night.

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The pamphlet does encourage preventing overdose and infection, offering tips for SAFER use. It encourages the heroin user to know their HIV status, to not share syringes, to use clean syringes and needles.

The pamphlet encourages the heroin user to participate in the syringe exchange program, telling them how to do so. It encourages them to dispose of the used syringes and needles in a safe manner: put used syringes and equipment in “sharps” containers from your syringe exchange program or in a thick plastic container, such as a laundry soap bottle (label it hazardous waste). Call 1-800 LifeNet (1-800-543-3638) or
311 to find a syringe exchange program.

The city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene printed about 70,000 copies of the handout.

A NYC health official has stated the goal is to promote health and save lives.

NBC New York