Pubdate: Sat, 08 Oct 2011
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2011 Emile Therien
Author: Emile Therien


Re: Why Ottawa needs some Insite, Oct. 4.

The Supreme Court's decision on Sept. 30 ruling in favour of 
Vancouver's safe-injection site is a victory for public health, 
medical science, common sense.

I agree we need to start treating drug addiction for what it is: a 
public health problem. The Supreme Court's decision is a step in the 
right direction. Costly incarceration, mean-spiritedness, community 
pandering, media hype and political grandstanding have never worked.

Time is not on our side. Addiction, whether to alcohol, cigarettes, 
gambling or drugs, is an illness that requires medical attention. The 
B.C. Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling recognized this fact.

The wealth of medical and scientific information in support of harm 
reduction programs and strategies is overwhelming. When 
evidencedbased research shows harm reduction programs are good for 
public health, everyone, including all levels of government, should 
listen. Politics aside, it is high time all policies affecting the 
health and safety of all citizens conform with science.

Dealing with the problems associated with drug use, including human 
suffering, should and must become a national priority.

Emile Therien,

Ottawa Public Health and Safety Advocate
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