Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Pubdate: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 
Author: Ken Russell
Note: Besides being a published LTE writer, Ken provides most of our
newshawking coverage of Australia. Ken is also in the process of setting up
a special private MAP mailing list for newshawks, or those who would like
to be newshawks but need assistance. If you would like to be on this
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List' as the subject. - Richard Lake, Sr. Editor


IVAN HOY'S letter "No more trips to Civic for me!" (16 December) succinctly
highlighted the hypocrisy of many members of our society.

Mr Hoy would do well to consider that while Civic does not yet have any
safe injecting rooms it has many safe-imbibing rooms: the pubs, the
restaurants, the bars. Several hundred users of these establishments
regularly mix with other people using Civic, often not long after they have
had their last alcohol fix.

I am sure I will be criticised for my comparing alcohol and heroin, pubs
and safe injecting rooms; and in some ways the criticism will be justified.
After all, alcohol is far more strongly correlated with violence than
heroin, and a drunkard poses more of a risk to the average citizen than
someone high on heroin. Further, pubs are anything but safe, with no
medical staff present and, according to a recent Australian Institute of
Criminology report on violence, they are quite dangerous.

Many of the heroin users which so offend Mr Hoy are already present in
Civic, wandering around after their last "hit". Quite possibly, Mr Hoy
would be unable to identify them; they don't generally act like drunks.

North Wollongong, NSW 
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Checked-by: Richard Lake