Pubdate: Thu, 31 Aug 2017
Source: Comox Valley Record (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Comox Valley Record
Author: Megan Hedican


Dear editor,

As someone who recently lost a brother to the disease of addiction due
to overdose after recovery, I must respond to the letter from
Mary-Ellen(Reader appalled that government supports safe injection
sites, Aug. 24) that argues against safe injection sites in the Comox

The Overdose Prevention Centre on Sixth Street is a necessary response
to the current opioid overdose crisis. It is not just a "safe and
comfy place for drug addicts." Overdose Prevention Services are
locations where trained staff monitor and provide rapid intervention
if necessary. It's a place that saves people from death. This centre
is not creating an unsafe environment in our community - it is
actually helping to make our community safer.

They are beneficial for the community and residents for numerous

Firstly, they help prevent people from transmitting infectious

Secondly, they encourage marginalized people to access health care

Thirdly, they bring stability to the community by reducing the number
of injections taking place on the street.

To argue against having an accessible place where people battling this
crippling disease can be rescued from overdose is incredibly harmful.
This perpetuates the idea that people who are addicted to drugs are
not worth caring about or saving. The reality is that these people
need the most compassion, support, and help we can offer. This June,
there were 111 suspected overdose deaths in BC which is 3.7 deaths per
day. This is a 61 per cent increase over the number of deaths in June
2016. Of these deaths, none were at supervised consumption or drug
overdose prevention sites.

Therefore, I argue that instead of advocating for less overdose
prevention sites in our community, we advocate for more sites with
longer hours to save the lives of the children, parents, siblings,
spouses, and loved ones who are struggling with addiction and
desperately need our help.

Megan Hedican

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt