October 23rd, 2020

Giving opoids to addicts isn’t the answer


By Letter to the Editor on April 24, 2020.

Last month B.C. pushed forward in its ideas of providing heroin to addicts under the guise of the COVID-19 crisis, unbeknownst to most Canadians. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/safe-supply-drug-plan-covid-1.5511973)

“É She said regulated pharmaceutical alternatives, such as hydromorphone, will be provided to opioid dependents. Alcohol and cannabis will also be made availableÉ”

B.C. has been pushing the feds to legalize heroin! It appears that it could happen!

The reason why the safe injection sites opened in 2003 in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side was because of heroin. Many have become addicted in Canada from legal opioids that were prescribed to them for pain at some point so how can it help? They have not learned that treating the addicts is the answer, not giving them more drugs.

Seventeen years ago they opened their safe injection sites to combat issues and they have failed miserably, with increases every year in the number of fatal overdoses, addicts, homeless, tent cities, crime and costs. The greater Vancouver DTES, with about 20,000 people, now spends over $360 million annually on about 300 social/housing services for the homeless, as tent cities grow as well! It is a failure!

Lethbridge has recently seen scathing reports by government that show the devastation to the city and, more importantly, the downtown core and business community after the SCS, with crime increase in that area almost 6,000 per cent; not a typo, 6,000 per cent. But guess what? We now see another service added to the building … it is a pharmacy! As many know, trying to get “accurate” stats from the SCS is like asking for National Defence secrets and often we get releases of misinformation.

The raid several weeks ago by government auditors has not seen results released, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

So, is this new pharmacy going to be supplying opioids to the addicts, paid by the taxpayer, snuck in under the COVID-19 crisis?

Next time a family member has a medical emergency and EMS is in Code Red and you have to wait 40 minutes because EMS is busy with overdoses, you can thank the SCS and Health Canada!

You are at home, isolated … write your MPs, MLAs and city council and tell them to shut down this abomination that is costing 10 times the cost of treatment and will never end!

Barry Ewing

Lethbridge

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biff

here we go, another hysterical warning. despite decades of stupid drug laws that cause far more harm than good, and amount to human rights abuses and crimes against humanity, the writer thumps the hollow drum of failure compounding failure.
first and foremost, feds need to legalise drugs, just as they have legalised alcohol and pot. this will ensure quality control and reduce cost of products. the further spinoff will be reduction of theft and prostitution that is borne of addiction. it will further undermine the under belly that are smaller-time dealers, that pose big problems in residential communities. moreover, it will undermine organised crime by taking away a large source of income. the spinoff of that will also include a big savings in what has decade over decade proved to be futile policing, and wasted legal and incarceration time and money.
instead of issuing legal, so-called “opioids”, which are a range of patented, highly addictive and toxic synthetics, govts should be providing opium, avoiding the more addictive processed derivative that is heroin, and intravenous use and its negative consequences. ultimately, we need to tackle the biggest issue of society, the growing inequality between haves and have-nots. study after study has demonstrated that poverty costs society far more than would bringing up the bottom.

Dogknox

Think: All this talk about the addicted none what ever about the evil people that sell the stuff! Oh the poor drug pusher all we can do is slap his wrist, caught red handed selling “carfentenal” a known killer why is the seller not getting at the very least a manslaughter charge! A judge once said “I give judgements on what the community will tolerate”. We are tired of paying! My tax money going to people not even citizens of Lethbridge; paying my high taxes for people that contribute zero to our city! Here is how it is going (paraphrased) “Lethbridge has a drug program let’s drop off poor addicted Jim inLethbridge”. Why are we paying for all the addicts in southern Alberta and B.C.? Never mind half of the reservation. Question I always thought the federal government was responsible for the native Canadians why are they not addressing and paying for their keep? In the country of Indonesia they “Cane” drug sellers they put them into prison they have zero tolerance for these people their treatment of these people is justified they are an evil we cannot tolerate! Our Mayor is suppose to be working for the citizens us tax payers pay him, he is focused on these none citizens making them comfortable!

chinook

Right on letter. #1 problem in the world is over population; humans breeding like bugs and a minority of those bugs are generating massive problems for us. Cruel as it sounds, down the road, those who do not contribute positively to society will be culled just as we cull any species. By that I mean no more hand holding, pandering to addictions; homelessness, tent cities and so on. Parents who breed deadbeats will be fined or jailed. A doctor may hand out a prescription but responsibility is firmly on the human to accept it or not; monitor their progress; take what they need and get off the drug when pain is manageable. Blame game has to stop. We need to call out the elephant in the room … Blood Reserve is generating a huge problem for Lethbridge. Their population is around 10,000 yet they are responsible for spewing out 90 % of the problems we are dealing with in out city. Oki no more.

John P Nightingale

“Culling the herd”. A term used in Nazi Germany, and more recently by Pol Pot. Seems like some of us haven’t learned from history.

chinook

Its an animal term used when humans deem a species needs to be controlled to maintain balance.
Our society has been hijacked by a minority and its degrading the health of society; costing us billions. Are you saying you are ok with that? Cause I’m not. Given population explosion something has to be done and as science fiction and cruel as it may be that might be one of the ways it will come about. Humans certainly have no problem in applying that to animals and what are we after all? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culling

John P Nightingale

The population is indeed too high and am very familiar with the term used in animal control. But needling a human , gassing them, starving, you name it, is not the answer.
I say again, Nazi Germany Chairman Mao, Rwandan leaders committed such acts to thin and preserve elite society. Maybe in your world but not in mine.

ewingbt

@ John P Nightingale . . . And the Safe Consumption Site is slowly killing them off by enabling them to continue their addiction that emaciates them and eventually kills them from diseases and viruses that are associated wtih addictions and homelessness.
Many of us that see these people on the streets watch them slowly ‘rot’ away from the drugs they are encouraged to take, because the SCS gives them their ‘party packs’ with all the paraphenalia they need to consume the drugs. Just in the last month 4 addicts that we are aware died, not from overdoses, but related health issues caused by addictions/homelessness.
The SCS, with Health Canada’s blessing and the Alberta Health Services’ blessings are slowly killing them off.
Effective treatment is by far the best way and a fraction of the costs.

The rippling effects the SCS and growing addictions, crime and homelessness problems have presented already has multiple programs in place to combat the issues, yet the problems continue to grow in Lethbridge, along with the number of fatal overdoses! It failed in BC and it is failing here!

We need true leadership, to resolve this! Presently the leadership is allowing a few hundred people to destroy this city, it reputation internationally, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars . . . that is right . . . in Lethbridge the costs are alone for the SCS is over $7 million per year, and that is not including all the other programs, social/housing programs, Fire/EMS/Police costs and the costs to the citizens to replace or repair stolen or damage property/vehicles.

Add to that, during the COVID-19 crisis while many of us are self isolating, not able to see our families and hug them, social distancing . . . the homeless and addicts are continuing to ignore such rules and are demanding to use our public facilities to use washrooms, endangering us all. No respect!!! No respect of their lives or anyone elses.

We allowed this to happen in this city by opening the SCS, and attracting all these people to our once beautiful city and it then spreads to citizens sucked in to this as drugs become even more available.

Insanity and to have Health Canada and the Alberta Health Services name attached sends healthcare back to the wars you speak of where the atrocities of humanity showed how far we can sink into the abyss.

What happened to the Christian beliefs this country was built on that would never allow such a madness that we now see with these sites! Shameful when we watch these poor young people’s body emaciate as they are allowed to slowly kill themselves.

The leadership in the city, this province and this country should all be ashamed of themselves!!!

ewingbt

Interesting right now that many of the homeless/addicts have left the streets in Lethbridge and gone back to their communities in some cases and less are using the SCS . . . and guess what . . .they are not all dying as the PRO-SCS supporters said would happen.
The proof is here now, the SCS was generating addicts and enabling them!!

I will repeat this . . .opioids, specifially, heroin, was the reason the first safe injection site opened in Vancouver DTES 17 years ago and it has done nothing to resolve the issue, but magnified it . . . it failed and created a massive number of homeless while crime increased, fatal overdoses continue to increase and the number of addicts continue to grow and POVERTY.
For just under 20,000 residents of the greater Vancouver DTES, there is an annual cost of over $360 million for around 300 social/housing services to combat the problem and it is failing.

There are many that got addicted by being prescribed opioids as pain killers for injuries, not heroin, but pharmeutical grade opioids. They ended up addicts on the streets . . . people that were professionals and now are in poverty! The longer this site is open the more it expands into the community wreaking havoc in many lives . . . for a few hundred addicts . . . treat them, don’t give them a clubhouse and supply all their needs to do drugs.
The more users, the more chances of your children doing them! We have already seen 10-12 year old children high on meth in this city, exposing them to sexual abuse and other travesties!

It is all there . . . the biggest failure that proves giving drugs to combat addiction does not work! It has created a massive amount of homelessness, POVERTY, and deaths that are not counted that are from homeless/addiction related deaths such as cardio vasculare diseases, auto-immune diseases, etc.

Treatment is the answer and cheaper by far and guess what . . . all budgets are going to be slashed and we are headed down the road to all services being slashed.

So . . . do you want to pump miilions into enabling users, a never ending, perpetual money pit or do you want tobe able to get the hip-surgery in a year you need or heart surgery or your childs expensive cancer treatment???

Your tax dollars . . .