Pubdate: Wed, 02 Aug 2000
Source: Border Mail (Australia)
Author: Elizabeth Mann


Supervised injecting rooms would help.

Supervised injecting rooms would hopefully give an addict a second chance
if they took an overdose.

They would provide some sense of a caring environment in that at least they
are at a facility that could provide some alternatives.

Drug use in our parks, toilet blocks, back lanes and schools etc is not
enjoyed by anyone.

We do need to trial alternatives and thankfully Australia is in a position
where it can learn from other countries.

Many addicts are well educated people who were brought up in loving family

No one is immune from this as per The Age, July 15, John McCoy (Victoria's
most senior drug investigator).

So in essence, this issue affects everybody to some degree.

To parents it is a frightening prospect.

I welcome more public debate on this issue.

Thanks to Helen Barnacle, who I had the pleasure of hearing her remarkable
story courtesy of the Border Mail literary evening, I now feel more certain
in my efforts that I am going along in the right path.

Helen Barnacle told of her story from a hopeless young drug addict to a
successful psychologist, drug counsellor, prison reform campaigner and

Helen stated nobody could get over drug addiction alone and supervised
injecting rooms were just one of the ways some addicts could be helped.

Her talk was attended by approximately 300 people, which shows we do want
to understand more.

Supervised injecting rooms are just one strategy that could go towards
trying to be there for addicts, at the coal face, so to speak.

They would provide a caring environment.

I realise it may not appear a logical step and many may think we are
pandering to parasites as Dawn Williams puts it, The Border Mail, July 24.

But if we don't acknowledge what drug use is doing to today's society we
will have a much worse situation than we have already.

Drug use in the Border is fairly well hidden but out of sight does not mean
it should be out of mind.

The burden to the taxpayer will be far greater if we do not try to assist
those who are addicted.

- -- Elizabeth Mann,
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MAP posted-by: Eric Ernst