Pubdate: Fri, 10 Feb 2017
Source: Penticton Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: John D. Thomas
Page: A9


Dear Editor: Weeks ago a writer from Victoria correctly fingered the BC 
government as responsible for the escalating drug overdose deaths. Right 
assessment, wrong reason.

The heroin deaths do not result from insufficient support to addicts.
Conversely, the deaths result, ultimately, from the ever increasing,
if unintended, provincial endorsement of this self-destructive
behaviour. The patronizing acceptance of this aberration with the
milksop pronouncements by Interior Heath officials and Minister Terry
Lake serve only to justify and legitimatize this suicidal behaviour.

Minister Lake's worse than politically correct TV description of
addicts, who inject themselves with now often lethal heroin doses, as
persons with an "Opioid Use Disorder" was enough to make one puke on
one's shoes. Never mind that the B.C. government chooses to air TV
spots that actually describe the intravenous injection of heroin as a
"recreational" activity! That's right folks, right up there with
softball and bridge.

We are not going to end this frightful death spiral without frank and
honest words. It seems that only the spate of recent letter writers
know how to call a spade a spade and call for action rather than
mollycoddling the perpetrators of this self-induced epidemic. It is
time for tough love.

Outlining some of the "wrong reason" background is simply a recitation
of the enabling past government actions. Heroin use and sale is
illegal but lets distribute needles so they can get on with it. Better
yet lets openly endorse the practice by providing shoot up facilities.
Spend millions educating for prevention that is ignored and then spend
millions more to medically ease the withdrawal discomfort, 5 per cent
may even quit after rehab. Bad hit result? Off to the busy emergency
ward by First

Responders. Fentanyl overdoses also occurring? Buy and distribute
Naloxone kits and make all those otherwise idle First Responders train
and administer the shots. Anybody know what the kits cost? Never mentioned.

And now another unbelievable proposal to encourage teen
experimentation has been offered from another planet. Stock schools
with naloxone kits! This kindness should help remove doubts about the
risk. Go ahead kid, it's OK.

Drug addiction is a life choice. The weak and the irresponsible will
put pleasure ahead of purpose. But the time has come to insist that
people take responsibility for their choices. Some advocates of ending
this waste of life and public treasure seem a little harsh. While we
do not favour exile to Baffin island or a hearing by the President of
the Philippines, we expect some very plain instructive talk from all
levels of government. Quit enabling and start preventing. And for
God's sake quit this "Opioid Use Disorder" nonsense and "recreational"
term justification.

John D. Thomas

Okanagan Falls
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