Pubdate: Tue, 03 Jan 2017
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Glenda Barr

Compassion, humanity needed in drug crisis

To the Editor,

The death toll is rising, and many resources are required to deal with
the current fentanyl crisis. This is a result of the tactics of the
failed war on drugs. Prohibition of drugs provides a very lucrative
opportunity for criminal organizations. Drug addiction is a health
issue, and should be treated as such.

Much of the problem has been with heroin that has been adulterated
with fentanyl. Providing heroin maintenance to addicts who have not
had success with treatment would strike a serious blow at the illegal
market. Users could have a safe supply, and a more normalized life,
not centred around the primary goal of sourcing heroin and the money
to purchase it. The issues of addiction that affect our society are
caused more by the lifestyle resulting from addiction to a
criminalized substance than they are by the substance itself.

The harms of leaving the distribution of drugs to criminals, and
hindering treatment of addicts by criminalizing drugs, are much
greater than the consequences of drug use. We must put this into
perspective and take the sensible approach. Legalize and regulate all
drugs, and treat problematic use as the health issue that it is.

Glenda Barr

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