Pubdate: Tue, 17 May 2016
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2016 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: John P. Walters
Note: John P. Walters, Hudson Institute's chief operating officer, 
was President George W. Bush's director of drug control policy.


There are no "safe heroin injection sites." The only "safe" approach 
to heroin is not to take it. For addicts, the humane public health 
response is to help them get and stay sober, or at the very least, 
opioid replacement therapy in sustained treatment. Any approach 
without these goals is cruel and dehumanizing - not healing, but 
perpetuating harm.

Addiction is a treatable disease. Millions of Americans are in 
recovery - living healthy, productive lives. Supporting addicts' 
heroin use maintains their disease, administering the poison that 
causes their illness and diminishes their lives. A 
government-approved place for unlimited heroin injection creates the 
conditions for neverending addiction and gives government a drug 
dealer's power over the addicted.

Advocates for injection sites claim various "successes." In fact, 
very few who use these facilities are persuaded to enter treatment 
and reach recovery. Many addicts using such facilities do not stop 
using heroin and other such drugs from criminal sources - the "safe 
facility" is simply another place for drugs. Addicts are often 
abusers of multiple drugs and alcohol. Injection facilities sustain 
all of this.

Such proposals require us to suppress common sense and adopt 
heartless indifference to the lives of the addicted. We do not 
protect addicts by reviving them from overdose death only to return 
them to death's front door, perpetuating the self-destructive cycle 
of addiction. In fact, many addicts enter treatment because they 
cannot obtain heroin, and even more are treated under the supervision 
of drug courts. We treat the addicted through workplace 
interventions, medical practice and many faith-based organizations. 
We should keep vigil as they struggle to recover.

Today's heroin deaths are caused by the drug flooding into America 
from Mexico. Giving up on fighting heroin trafficking brought a 
supply-driven epidemic to our communities. Pressure on heroin 
networks works, just as attacks on terror networks can and must be 
pressed for our security.

Heroin destroys freedom and life. Government-approved injection 
centers are shameful.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom