Pubdate: Fri, 22 Nov 2002
Source: Maple Ridge News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Maple Ridge News
Author: Nicole Patrick
Bookmark: (Safe Injecting Rooms)


Editor, The News:

Re: Unsafe injection (News views, Nov. 9).

I think Tom Fletcher has to to take a closer look at what these injection 
sites are offering instead of just the negative things. You will see that 
the good in this situation is outweighing the bad.

First of all the government is handing out clean needles and crack pipes in 
order to keep AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis C and other incurable diseases off the 
street by getting drug users to stop sharing and reusing needles etc. You 
have hastily concluded that this will soon lead the government giving out 
drugs. The government has never mentioned this; Mr. Fletcher has decided to 
jump to this conclusion with out looking at the facts.

Mr. Fletcher has complained that this "doomed experiment" in Vancouver will 
take other cities to "junkie hell along with it." Vancouver was a junkie 
town and will continue to be a junkie town unless something is done to 
change this. At least the people that have set up these "needle exchanges" 
have started to take action to reduce the spread of diseases, which in turn 
will reduce the cost of health care. All I have heard from Mr. Fletcher is 
what we should not do, not what we should do to reduce the drug addicts in 

Mr. Fletcher has argued that no one wants to pay for the "safe injection 
sites." Well I see it as a choice the taxpayer can make himself or herself. 
They can choose to pay for damaged buildings and vandalism that drug users 
inflict on property along with health care bills for treating a lifetime 
patients with hepatitis C and other incurable diseases from not using a 
clean needle. Or they can pay in to something that is reducing the coast of 
health care in the long run and getting junkies off the streets. lt is the 
taxpayers' choice but I know as a taxpayer my choice is clear.

I know that when I drive in to the "bad part" of Vancouver I feel scared 
and have to roll up my windows and lock the doors, but I truly do get a 
feeling of ease when I see a needle exchange both set up because I can see, 
with my own two eyes, that something is being done about the problems of 
drug addiction in Vancouver, other than just bunches of plans and talk 
about it.

I would also like to say thanks to the people that are out in the streets 
addressing the problem head on.

Nicole Patrick, Pitt Meadows
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