Pubdate: Sun, 23 Jul 2000
Source: Sun Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 John Fairfax Holdings Ltd
Author: Name and Address Supplied


I AM a heroin addict. But before I am dismissed as another member of the
lower-class, uneducated junkie population, please realise that I completed
Year 12 at one of Sydney's best private schools and passed - convincingly -
my first two years of university before dropping out due to my addiction.

Michael Robinson (The Sun-Herald, July 16) states that cutting supply of
heroin to addicts will help solve the problem.

How does he propose that it be done?

Over the last five years the Australian Customs budget has been increased,
the number of seizures has increased and we have also had several enormous,
well-publicised seizures.

But on the streets of Cabramatta heroin has become cheaper and more pure
than when I started using it five years ago.

This should dispel the popularly held myth that simply cutting supply of
heroin stops the heroin addicts.

Michael Robinson states heroin injecting rooms will only serve to prolong
addiction. He is correct only in the sense that injecting rooms can and will
prevent addicts from dying.

Apart from this, injecting rooms will be equipped to give addicts advice,
support and referrals to treatment and health services as well as helping to
slow or stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.

The assertion that addicts commit crime sprees against taxpayers and our
property is a gross and highly offensive generalisation of all addicts. I
have no criminal record and have never committed any crime against taxpayers
or their property.

My only crime was the mistake of getting mixed up with heroin, which only
hurts me.

Get to know at least one addict before you brandish us all with the same
tainted brush.

Name And Address Supplied
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