Pubdate: Tue, 18 Mar 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist
Author: Fredericke Weston


Nobody wants a needle exchange near their home, work or schools;
however, no one comes up with a better solution. I commend the
Vancouver Island Health Authority for having taken the courageous step
to purchase the former St. John Ambulance building at 941 Pandora
Ave,, next door to Our Place. As drug addicts are sick people, they
are entitled to care and attention, as are people addicted to alcohol,
the legal drug.

With the building bought and a medical clinic to be established, why
not be bold and consider installing a program modelled after the
successful Insite program in Vancouver. This would soon alleviate a
lot of the chaotic activity on our streets. According to reports, a
number of addicts saw a chance to change their lifestyle after
consultation with the attending staff.

A couple of detox beds on the premises and a followup community
network of treatment centres or halfway houses would be valuable.
Include a methadone clinic for approved addicts; this would give those
who want to change a chance to live a near-normal life. Addicts on
methadone can even hold down a job. A drop in petty crime in the
downtown area will likely be the result.

In addition, all concerned will appreciate a couple of shower stalls.
Consider handing out vouchers to obtain clean clothing at the
Salvation Army thrift store or Value Village.

Costly? Yes. But we now pay thousands of dollars per year on policing,
maintenance and emergency health care.

Fredericke Weston,

- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek