Pubdate: Mon, 05 Mar 2007
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 The Province
Author: Gerry Gramozis


Opponents to safe injection sites and the harm reduction model are 
gravely mistaken if they believe harm reduction promotes drug use.

Harm reduction is based on compassion, understanding and acceptance 
of the user of drugs.

Unlike the adversarial climate espoused in the war-on-drugs 
philosophy, a harm reduction model holds that health-care providers 
and users of drugs are equal -- each can contribute positively to the 
therapeutic relationship.

Safe-injection sites provide a safe environment for drugs users as 
well as offering medical help.

Addicts may be more inclined to seek help and, at the very least, the 
risk of overdosing on drugs is significantly lower. That alone 
justifies their existence.

Perhaps opponents to harm reduction who preach abstinence should try 
quitting one of their own vices.

How many of these naysayers are willing to "just quit" their daily 
coffee or tea, driving too fast, eating at fast-food restaurants and so forth.

Maybe when they realize just how hard it is to change a behaviour, 
they will be more compassionate, understanding and accepting of drug users.

Gerry Gramozis,

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