Many are older and have been using drugs for a long time. Their long term drug use and chaotic living
conditions have seriously compromised their overall health. For this population, addiction is a root cause
of their health problems, but to become candidates for addiction treatment, they must first be assisted in
stabilizing the basic elements of their daily life.
We want to help the addicts by reducing the risk of overdose yet in doing so we create more addicts. Sure a handful will enter a detox program but look at the huge number of more addicts we
create by making the drug so accessible. Not to mention how hard we make it for addicts to quit when the drug is so accessible and everywhere they go dealers are pushing it in their face.
Are the harm reduction programs effective, are they achieving the goals set in place
such as the reduction of HIV/AIDS, of Hepatitis "C"? Are they reducing drug use or
are they encouraging use?
The philosophy behind this is that we can't eliminate the use of
hard drugs, therefore let us try to minimize their consequences.
Given that same logic, the reality is that we can't stop rape
either but do we consider trying to reduce it's consequences and
provide the means to do it. We also have a problem with the
sharing of straws to snort cocaine in that they can spread Hep
"C" so should we also implement a straw exchange program?
Researchers tracked fatal drug overdoses in the clinic's immediate area for
33 months before and 27 months after it opened in 2003. The rate plunged
35 per cent after the site opened, while the number of fatal overdoses in the
rest of the city fell by just 9 per cent. SAFE INJECTION CLINIC CUTS FATAL
Arguing point---placing prevention programs will help reduce/spot the below
The residents of the DTES who are intravenous drug users have diverse origins and personal
histories, yet familiar themes emerge. Many have histories of physical and sexual abuse as
children, family histories of drug abuse, early exposure to serious drug use, and mental illness.
Many injection drug users in the DTES have been addicted to heroin for decades, and have been
in and out of treatment programmes for years. Many use multiple substances, and suffer from
alcoholism. Some engage in street-level survival sex work in order to support their addictions. It
should be clear from the above that these people are not engaged in recreational drug use: they
are addicted. Injection drug use is both an effect and a cause of a life that is a struggle on a day
to day basis. A survey of approximately 1,000 drug users living in the DTES was presented to the federal
Minister of Health in a 2008 report (Vancouver’s INSITE service and other Supervised injection
sites: What has been learned from research? — Final report of the Expert Advisory Committee,
March 31, 2008 (online)), and summarized by the trial judge at para. 16 of his reasons (2008
BCSC 661, 85 B.C.L.R. (4th) 89). Generally, he found that:
•those surveyed had been injecting drugs for an average of 15 years;
•the majority (51%) inject heroin and 32% inject cocaine;
•87% are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 17% with human immunodeficiency v