Pubdate: Tue, 19 Jun 2012
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Abbotsford News
Author: Wayne Phillips


Helping people out of addiction is one thing; failing to take
seriously the very real consequences of rejecting harm reduction based
on either mandate or ideology is quite another.

Circumventing the transmission of communicable disease, as well as
avoiding associated health care costs and, ultimately, any societal
impacts thereof, (via a publicly funded needle exchange) is not only,
comparatively speaking, sound public policy, it is a bargain in the
long term as it is essential to the well-being of all within the
community and beyond.

Even if zero tolerance approaches do represent the national drug
strategy, it does not confer upon the federal government any
entitlement or imperative liable to put the nation's health and
well-being at risk.

Needle exchange programs make available, to the addict, options that
zero tolerance approaches won't/don't. Encouraging hygienic practice
among addicts, as well as the humane treatment thereof, is not
mollycoddling addicts; it recalls demonstrated hallmark traits once
synonymous with Canadian standards.

Harm reduction goes to safeguarding both the community and the addict
whereas the zero tolerance approach fails to consider the wider
societal implications of the consequences of that which is encouraged
by the zero tolerance set.

Wayne Phillips
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