Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Some sanity in Vacouver BC

After years of encouraging heroin addicts to shoot up some sanity has appeared. The sanity is in the Canadian government in Ottawa, but it should spread to reduce the misery and danger that Vancouver has adopted. The area where heroin users can shoot up legally is dangerous. It adjoins popular tourist sites, but the tourists - and the residents - are not safe. I have heard horror stories from friends and coworkers. Clement's Insite attack leaves WHO red-faced:
MEXICO CITY — The World Health Organization has strongly endorsed safe injection sites like Vancouver's Insite as one of the “priority interventions” that countries should implement to slow the spread of HIV-AIDS, a view that was swiftly and firmly rejected by Canada's Health Minister. “Allowing and/or encouraging people to inject heroin into their veins is not harm reduction, it is the opposite. … We believe it is a form of harm addition,” Tony Clement said Tuesday in Mexico City, where he is attending the XVII International AIDS Conference. While the minister's views on Insite are well known, Mr. Clement repeated them Tuesday at an event where he was endorsing and promoting a new WHO “how-to” guide on battling the epidemic, which promotes needle exchange and safe injection sites. The Health Minister's comments left officials from the agency flummoxed and red-faced.
Notice that the distinguished minister appears to be double speaking.
He also said that the federal government supports various forms of harm reduction for intravenous drug users such as needle exchange, methadone treatment and rehabilitation, but rejected safe injection as illegitimate. “We're not prepared to allow people to die” by condoning their continued drug use, Mr. Clement said. Mr. Clement has never clearly stated why the government supports needle exchange and rehab programs but so sternly opposes the existence of a facility where drug users can actually use the safe needles and be encouraged to enter rehab. The sticking point appears to be that, at Insite, drug users cannot be arrested and prosecuted.

No comments: