To the editor:
It’s utterly ridiculous the amount of taxpayer dollars that go towards these safe injection sites. The logic is flawed. If we are serving drugs to the addicts and I was an alcoholic, where the hell is my free beer?
I would much rather see additional funding be used for services such as detox centres, addiction recovery centres, support groups, and counselling. Income and assistance is not there to support drug habits which brings about my next point. These users rely heavily upon social assistance.
I fail to understand why drug testing welfare recipients outweighs the cost of purchasing copious amounts of drugs to supply the users, pay Interior Health staff members on a 24 hour basis, while simultaneously eating up emergency services resources at a ridiculous rate while providing no solutions. This is a band aid method. If we truly wanted to help these people who are suffering why not treat the cause rather then the symptoms? Here are a few additional thoughts:
•Decriminalize the use of all drugs as was done in Portugal
•Stiffer penalties for drug pushers
•Replacing welfare recipient and social income cheques with long term housing options, food stamps, transit passes, gas cards and any non money options
•Provide same amount of funding but monitor spending for irregularities, ban alcohol and cigarette purchases and provide funding for individuals who really need it, like students. These thoughts can’t be much worse or irrational then what is already being offered.
Raymond Thériault, Kelowna