Pubdate: Tue, 18 May 1999
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Author: B. McConnell


ON MONDAY, May 10, the Prime Minister made an address to the nation about
drugs. Except for the statement that "We must hold our nerve", there was
nothing remarkable in this self-praise statement that promoted the injection
of funds by the Government, funds to more or less do more of the same.

Now we must remember that there is no evidence that the additional injection
of funds is making a difference to the one significant measure of success of
the policies the number dying. Overdose deaths have continued to rise and
there is no sign that they are abating. Desperate parents recognise
government failure in this area and are taking matters into their own hands
by providing safe injecting places for their children. The Wayside Chapel
attempted to do the same until police harassment forced the closure of the T

It is usually in the context of a war where the general who, faced with an
ever-mounting death toll, urges his troops to "hold their nerve" and fight
to the last.

The death by overdose of a 40-year-old man near the toilets of the Wayside
Chapel on the day after the forced closure will be the first of many more
"expendable" people caused by those who dogmatically "hold their nerve" but
who fail to even attempt to find a better solution.

B. McCONNELL Higgins

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