Pubdate: Sat, 11 Feb 2017
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Richard D. Estey
Page: G4


Re: No easy answer to addiction, letters, Feb. 4; and Get addicts off 
drugs, editorial, Jan. 28.

So B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake takes "great exception" to The
Sun's editorial assertion that harm reduction policies "send the
message that it's OK to be a drug addict." Unfortunately, his
subsequent discussion is a reiteration of the rationale for harm
reduction, not a refutation of The Sun's assertion.

Any state action that makes it easier to belong to the drug culture
cannot but send a message that is at odds with the deadly danger
there. Many claim irrefutable evidence of a net benefit in
harm-reduction initiatives, but none of their studies have considered
the softening of public attitude pointed out by The Sun.

If one in a hundred kids gets hooked on drugs now, and a mixed
drug-use message from society changes that ratio ever so slightly to
two in a hundred, there will be many more new recruits slipping into
the swamp than our policies have ever managed to drag out.

This is not a convenient fact to incorporate into drug-response
strategy, but The Sun has correctly identified it as one that anyone
who truly cares cannot responsibly ignore.

Richard D. Estey, New Westminster
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