Friday, September 02, 2005

SHOULD DRUG POLICY be WRITTEN by DRUG USERS?

Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside

SHOULD DRUG POLICY be WRITTEN by DRUG USERS?

Now the brain-trust who champion Vancouver's Drug Injection site are making demands that our compassionate health care professionals assist drug misuse'rs with their illicit drug use, by injecting them with the rat poison they feed into their bodies and brain.

In an article today in the Vancouver Sun, Ann Livingston, who is the salaried coordinator of VANDU (drug misuse'rs group) has articulated open drug injections at the Injection site (essentially breaking regulations) because her members who allow other junkies to shoot them up in the alleyways are stil acquiring high levels of HIV/AIDS infection. Ms Livingston is requesting our health professionals actively assist drug misuse'rs in shooting up. And Vancouver Coastal Health is considering this option.

Pardon me you might say. As I did.

I couldn't believe that a compassionate advocate such as Livingston would say this. Hasn't she figured out yet, that allowing junkies to write our drug policies has been a complete and utter failure. Wasted lives and wasted people. Drug overdoses on the rise, crystal meth use has become a menace, hepatitis C is climbing and we have twice the national average. AIDS rates that rival Botswana and South Africa. Children being preyed on in their inner city playgrounds, seniors being robbed of their fixed incomes. And on and on it goes.

While I feel compassion for those who inject poison into their system, I also recognize they are of troubled mind when choosing to engage in this illegal activity. And I cannot condone this behavior because it has far reaching implications for the greater good of society. We must not allow our City to be governed and ruled by Drug Czars. Property Crime has impacted the lives of Vancouver citizens and our neighborhoods. This crime is fueled by Drug Misuse and Self-Serving Politicians. We cannot allow our great City to be a city which has third world conditions.

Like what is currently happening in New Orleans, we cannot allow the same destruction here.

Councillor Jim Green who lives in Strathcona is mouthing off on how the injection site is working and that the free dispensing of heroin is a model to the rest of the world. Well I suppose, Mr. Green endorses this type of industry but this blogwriter doesn't. Moreover, I suspect Vancouver citizens are tired of all the money which has been funneled into the DTES with little result. Funding which by and large Jim Green has shepherded to favoured groups. These are the jobs he touts as being supposedly created.

Councillor Green is showing himself not to be a friend of Vancouver. In fact, one can argue that Mr Green doesn't have a grasp on the realities here in the Downtown Eastside. Perhaps it could be as a result of his hanging out on Howe street.

So who is going to step up to the plate and demonstrate real courage, leadership and the wherewithall to say Enough Already?

We can not allow the devastation in the Downtown Eastside and surrounding communities to continue. It is coming at too great a price for citizens and neighborhoods of Vancouver. Our children deserve better. Way better.

We must say No More and say it with Meaning and Compassion!

It is time for a regional centre outside of Vancouver to be constructed to care and treat those suffering the affects of out of control drug use which often results in extreme or exacerbated mental health issues. Our mental health act must be amended to treat and hospitalize those with drug addictions.

Citizens you have a choice this November. Pick politicians who have demonstrated they are prepared to put forward your concerns over their own.

Most of all citizens get informed. Find out what the politicians have or haven't been doing. Talk to your neighbors. Speak your mind. Attend an all candidate meeting. Most of all vote and vote wisely!

Jamie Lee Hamilton
tricia_foxx@yahoo.com

2 Comments:

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous stevevbc said...

I think the idea of changing the provincial health act in order to deal with the effects of drug addiction is interesting Jamie Lee.

It won't stop people from taking drugs and I don't think forced abstinence and therapy will have much affect either.

I think where the change in mental health policy could have a positive impact is to ensure that people who have mental health problems get the complete care they need so they don't fall into the heroin (or whatever) drug addiction trap. The prescription drugs that were supposed to allow people with mental illness to live more independent lives are not accomplishing that task for a lot of people. Some of those people end up seeking out other drugs because they no longer have any other supports available.

 
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