Pubdate: Sat, 07 Jun 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Doug Panton


Re: Deal with addicts' problems rather than funding safe sites, June 4.

No one would argue about the need for dealing with "social decay." The
problem is that these are the areas in which provincial and federal
governments have been spending money for years. It's only the
existence of Insite, the supervised injection site, that prompted
federal authorities to promise a few new treatment beds in the
Vancouver area.

The required programs cost a lot of money to run, and even then will
be far short of eliminating the problems. Some of them haven't even
been designed yet. How do you deal with broken homes (or bad parents)
after the damage is done? There's no one who can replace a lost
childhood. Mental illness can be treated in many cases, but in others
it requires forcible intervention which society is loathe to impose.
Even illiteracy, possibly the easiest problem to deal with, requires
both money and an interest from the needy to actively

England isn't reclassifying marijuana, the prime minister is,
overriding the experts, committees and studies that see it as a
backwards and unjustified step. Scotland thought that giving people
methadone would get them off drugs. No wonder they're examining the
program for there's no incentive to quit. Forcing addicts to quit is
hardly a new idea, it's just New Zealand's turn to look at it and then
look at something else.

It's all very nice for Health Minister Tony Clement to take a stand,
but he needs a sturdy policy (and budget) to stand on or he will sink
back into the same old bureaucratic mess we know so well.

Doug Panton,

Port Coquitlam, B.C.
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