Pubdate: Fri, 07 Sep 2007
Source: Goldstream Gazette (Victoria, CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Goldstream News Gazette
Author: Dr. Keith Martin MD, MP
Bookmark: (Hepatitis)
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Note: Dr. Keith Martin is the Member of Parliament for Esquimalt - Juan de
Fuca and a physician who worked in detox, and alcohol and drug
rehabilitation centres for 14 years.


Let's face facts. The impending closure of Vancouver's Insite
supervised injection site by the federal Conservative government will
be the first casualty in their "New National Drug Strategy".

In killing this program, they will be committing thousands of people
in the coming years to deaths that were entirely preventable, from
overdoses, HIV/AIDS, sepsis, hepatitis C, etc.

Tragically, this decision will be driven by ideology and not facts as
some of the most reputable medical journals in the world, including
the Lancet and the British Medical Journal have published scientific,
peer reviewed articles illustrating the enormous benefits of this program.

Scientific evaluations at the site, which opened in September 2003,
have shown a 30 per cent increase in the rate of addicts using
detoxification services, an increased use of methadone and other forms
of addiction treatment and reduced injecting at the site. All of this
amid a population that is the most difficult to reach with existing
addiction services.

Many of these addicts live on the street or in flop houses and a good
percentage also have what is referred to as dual diagnosis, an
addiction problem and a psychiatric disease. Insite has reached into
this population and given them access to health-care services and a
way out of the hell that is Vancouver's Downtown East Side. It has
also reduced costs to the taxpayer through fewer emergency hospital
visits and a reduction in crime.

If Prime Minister Harper's government shuts Insite down they will be
committing more than an egregious, ideologically driven mistake. They
will be committing an act that is tantamount to murder against those
whom society has forgotten.
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MAP posted-by: Steve Heath