Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jun 2011
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Times Colonist
Author: J. Peter Stein, Times Colonist


As a former member of the LeDain Royal Commission Of Inquiry Into The
NonMedical Use of Drugs in the 1960s, I am writing to weigh in on the
harm-reduction debate.

I favour these supervised sites because they have the potential to
reduce harm to the community, not because they reduce harm to the users.

Taxpayers are being badly served by the exclusiveness of the
abstinence model. I understand that many, if not most of the people
using these sites may not seek to stop their drug use.

What the chemically dependent person does or doesn't do in regard to
his or her addiction will in part turn on the help that is available
in the sites, but, in the end, their self-centered lives are secondary
to the protection of the community.

Reducing court and policing costs, along with health costs, which is
at least possible in a controlled setting, trumps the probability that
these folks will remain socially unproductive for most of their lives.

J. Peter Stein

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