Pubdate: Wed, 30 Jul 2008
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Gene Tinelli


Re: InSite Works, Anne Mullens, July 28.

There is a Dutch word, "gedogen," which poorly translates into
English as "tolerance." A more accurate definition is: A pragmatic
policy of acceptance of behaviours without condoning them to produce
an effective and cohesive society. The origin of this policy had
nothing to do with drugs, but the fact that one-third of Holland is
below sea level and everyone is affected if the dikes start to breach.
Alienation is unacceptable.

InSite's policy of harm reduction, providing sterile equipment and a
safe environment for intravenous substance users, fits the Dutch
policy of gedogen. Not only do drug users benefit, society benefits by
lowering the spread of HIV and hepatitis.

Switzerland goes one step farther and provides heroin for IV opiate
users. Though not a perfect policy, it reduces disease, crime, the
birth of unhealthy babies, unemployment and, oddly, cocaine use. It
also is less expensive when the social costs of drug use are factored
into the expenses.

InSite should be given a chance. The Canadian people deserve no

Gene Tinelli, addiction psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Science, Upstate Medical University, State University of
New York, Syracuse, N. Y. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake