Pubdate: Sun, 27 Aug 2006
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 The Province
Author: Ida Goodreau
Bookmark: (Treatment)


I'm responding to the recent discussion over Vancouver's supervised
injection site.

There is little left to say about the merits of Insite. We already
know it is saving lives, improving the community and reducing the risk
of communicable disease.

Vancouver Coastal Health recognizes just how important treatment is
and dedicates two-thirds of addiction staff resources to it.

However, treatment is a realistic choice for only a small percentage
of drug addicts.

Giving up a drug or other addiction is extremely difficult, and
relapse rates are high.

Communities need a range of services to reduce the harm to individuals
and others from drug use, and to support recovery.

Insite is a pivotal service, in part because it is a first point of
contact into the health-care system that provides withdrawal
management and addiction treatment for the most marginalized people in
our community.

Without Insite, these people would have no way to access care and
treatment, and no possibility of improving their health or their lives.

Insite is not about politics. It is not about flouting laws or
challenging moral beliefs.

It is simply about getting people the service they need in a manner
that reduces risk, encourages access to further levels of care and
saves lives -- something that happens every day in hospitals across
the country.

I don't hear anyone suggesting we close any of them.


President and CEO

Vancouver Coastal Health 
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MAP posted-by: Steve Heath