Pubdate: Fri, 19 Nov 2010
Source: Abbotsford Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 The Abbotsford Times
Author: Karen Belix Moore


Editor, the Times:

I am not usually motivated to write letters to the editor but I am 
increasingly frustrated by our community's lack of participation in 
needle exchange programs. There is the ongoing debate over whether or 
not drug addiction is a disease.

This is irrelevant. What is germane to this discussion is that drug 
addicts who share needles present a public health risk. By providing 
clean needles the transmission of blood-borne diseases is limited.

John Redekop's letter of Nov. 12 (Defining moment for drugs), is 
disturbing and I suspect reflects the thinking of many of 
Abbotsford's citizens, including members of our city council.

He goes on about how addiction "is caused not by microbes but by bad 
behavior." He even notes that addiction is a choice and cannot be a 
disease because it "is not carried by mosquitoes, flies, fleas, wasps 
or bats." Newsflash Mr. Redekop, many diseases are not caused by 
infectious processes (e.g. cancer, mental illness or heart disease) 
so your argument is faulty.

At the heart of Mr. Redekop's thinking is that addicts are 
blameworthy and should they choose to change their ways, then our 
community is willing to offer "compassion, understanding and charity."

However, if the addict continues to indulge in substance abuse, he or 
she does not deserve to have the deleterious effects of such use 
minimized. It's their fault if they get blood borne diseases.

I feel ashamed that the limited perspectives of individuals such as 
Mr. Redekop and members of our city council necessitate the Fraser 
Health Authority having to pussyfoot around us on this important 
public heath issue.

Karen Belix Moore,

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