Pubdate: Thu, 19 Dec 2002
Source: The Outlook (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Outlook
Author: Robert Bailey



I am glad that I live in a country where opinions may be freely expressed, 
even opinions that are as ill-informed and devoid of actual research as 
those to which Denny Boyd sees fit to subject us ("A Druggies Dream," Dec. 
12 issue).

Is Mr. Boyd completely unaware of the runaway HIV problem amongst addicts 
in Vancouver? Safe injection sites will be instrumental in reducing the 
exponential spread of HIV and Hepatitis, thus greatly lessening human 
misery and significantly lowering the burden on our already strained health 
system. Ultimately, this strategy saves us all tax dollars. It costs far 
less to provide a safe consumption site than it does to provide palliative 

In his column, Mr. Boyd poses questions that are absolutely preposterous. 
He asks, "How many nurses and doctors will want to make a career out of 
tending diseased crack addicts?" Quite a lot, actually.

Addiction is fundamentally a health issue, and last I heard that was pretty 
much what doctors and nurses were about. There are many dedicated health 
pros working the streets today who would rejoice in the advent of safe 
injection sites, since they would greatly lessen the misery that they treat 
on a daily basis. Letting people shoot up in an alley with shared needles 
and water from a mud puddle is "enabling" the spread of HIV. Safe injection 
sites are the complete antithesis of that.

Mr Boyd might also care to do a little research. Crack addicts don't 
actually shoot up 15 or 20 times a day at all; crack is smoked, not injected.

He did get one thing right though -- addiction is a disease.

And finally, Mr. Boyd smugly suggests that drug addiction is something akin 
to a vacation! I can't think of anyone who would willingly take that kind 
of a vacation. Maybe, just maybe, the reason why Mr. Boyd is so puzzled by 
the fact that Larry Campbell and Philip Owen see eye to eye on this issue 
is, that unlike him, they have both seen the problem first-hand and know 
from experience that enforcement and incarceration are not workable 
approaches to the problem.

Their approach is actually very rational and well thought out. Perhaps this 
is why Mr. Boyd seems unable to comprehend it.

Robert Bailey

  Bowen Island
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