Pubdate: Fri, 14 Dec 2007
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Andrew Mclellan


Re: Revoke this licence to enable, Dec. 8.

Margret Kopala's challenge to harm reduction by Colin Mangham that 
programs such as Insite's needle exchanges have "few or no 
reductions" in blood borne disease is as preposterous as saying 
condoms don't prevent sexually transmitted infections.

Furthermore, Insite has had more than 800 documented overdoses in 
their establishment, and due to medical supervision no deaths have 
occurred since its inception.

The assertion that the American style war on drugs has been a success 
is laughable. And the further misconception that enforcement will 
render Vancouver's "pushers and users" into treatment or jail and 
where "youth are hip to the dangers of drugs" is part of a delusional 
psyche of the last failed 35 years of the war on drugs. Canada's 
conservative government is quite happy to play the 
treatment/enforcement card, as they seemingly only pay lip service 
when it comes to actual funding of either treatment facilities or 
prevention programs, while boosting an already proven ineffective 
enforcement war.

Harm reduction (HR)only believes that life, even a drug-addicted 
life, is worth saving. HR is not against abstinence. It only strives 
to keep someone alive until they decide to quit using. When talking 
about health-care expenditures it doesn't take a genius to figure out 
that free needles, or crack pipes for that matter, are less expensive 
then the treatment of individuals with Hepatitis C or HIV.

No one is proud of the terrible conditions in Vancouver's lower East 
Side and yet funding should focus on affordable housing rather than 
the further marginalization and incarceration of drug users.

Insite has proven to be effective in keeping people alive. Closure of 
this program would only further marginalize the people that need our help.

Andrew Mclellan,

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom