Letter: Disapproving free needle use in Kelowna

“I was astounded to learn that last year IH gave out almost four-hundred thousand free needles.”

To the editor:

Yesterday there was an article on our local TV about the problem of how citizens should deal with the thousands of needles discarded by drug addicts.

I was astounded to learn that last year IH gave out almost four-hundred thousand free needles to addicts. The addicts then use the needles and drop them wherever they happen to be, which is often school grounds or sports fields.

Even worse, addicts are able to walk in and pick up as many needles as they wish. A worker at the exchange said the addicts sometimes pick up as many as 100 at a time. Because there is no cost attached to the needles, they have no value to the addict and so they are tossed wherever. What is wrong with implementing a ‘one needle out for one needle in’ program or a refundable deposit for the needles?

The safe injection sites are supposed to be the end all/be all to provide a pathway for the addicts to recovery. Instead, addiction has become an epidemic.

Now some lucky addicts will be treated to a brand new apartment, complete with drug use materials and a safe place to buy/sell and use drugs and/or alcohol.

In what universe does providing addicts with free supplies, a nice place to get their high on and no worries about overdosing because assistance is close at hand going to give them an incentive to get clean and sober?

So we, the working taxpayers are paying to provide free addiction supplies, a nice place to get high, or even better a nice little apartment and please take the time to pick up and safely dispose of all the discarded needles.

I do not approve of my tax dollars being spent enabling and assisting in self-destructive behaviour instead of quicker/easier access to rehab and mental health facilities.

Victoria Napora

West Kelowna

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