Harm reduction advice and cocaine use


Sir, – The publication by the HSE of “harm reduction guidelines” for cocaine users represents an acceptance that illegal cocaine use is endemic in our society (“HSE issues ‘harm reduction’ guidelines on cocaine use”, July 18th).

While one arm of the government prosecutes us for using cocaine, another arm instructs us on how to use it safely.

Can we expect an instruction manual from the Department of Justice on how to mug someone in the street without hurting or injuring them? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – The publication of safe use guidelines for cocaine users wouldn’t be necessary if the Government legalised the use of cocaine and allowed it to be sold in pharmacies.

Users could then buy their cocaine safe in the knowledge that the cocaine was uncontaminated and manufactured to a guaranteed quality and strength.

Pharmacists would advise users on the safe consumption of the drug, as they currently do with all other drugs such as antibiotics.

Illegal street sales would cease, the Government would collect taxation revenue from cocaine sales, and the drug barons would suffer a large drop in their income. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.