Recovery efforts -- not crack pipe machines -- needed to help addicts: Ambrose

Rona Ambrose, Edmonton - Spruce Grove MP and federal minister for health, speaks at the ground...

Rona Ambrose, Edmonton - Spruce Grove MP and federal minister for health, speaks at the ground breaking ceremony for the new Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (Ian Kucerak/QMI Agency)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 11:19 PM ET

OTTAWA - The Health Minister Rona Ambrose says drug addiction efforts should focus on recovery, not "encouraging" drug use through crack pipe vending machines.

Ambrose weighed in Monday on the merits of distributing crack pipes through vending machines after reports surfaced that a drug counselling centre in Vancouver had installed two of the machines.

"Our government supports drug treatment and recovery that is focused on ending drug use," Ambrose said in a statement. "We will continue to work together to support programs that focus on ending drug use in a safe way, not encouraging crack pipe vending machines."

The Portland Hotel Society operates the Drug Users Resource Centre (DURC) in Vancouver, which offers a needle exchange and more recently, two vending machines that dispense crack pipes for 25 cents each. Addicts have bought roughly 20,000 so far.


Videos

Photos