Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, April 18, 2011

But they're junkies, they deserve to die

Those wacky Canadians are at it again, providing injection drug users with a safe place to inject under medical supervision. Whaddya know, overdose deaths in the area went down by 35%, with no ODs occurring in the facility. Also, clean needles, no HIV and Hepatitis C transmission, no needles left on the street, opportunities to offer people substance abuse treatment and other services, and for staff to observe any urgent problems . . .

Sounds great, but the federal government of Canada is against it -- it's operating under British Columbia license. And you can just imagine trying to do this in the U.S. Drug addiction is a moral issue, after all, and this is just coddling people who engage in immoral behavior. Drug addiction is nothing that a year or two in the jug won't cure, right?


C. Corax said...

I was working with some volunteers at my workplace late last year. It was a nice bunch of folks, concerned about social justice, liberal, educated, Democrats, etc., but then the conversation strayed to drug addicts. NO WELFARE MONEY TO DRUG ADDICTS! People should be TESTED to be sure they're not DRUG ADDICTS before they get their checks! I went ballistic on them (a big no-no, since they were volunteers). So, yeah, when you have supposedly smart people falling for that "just say no" crap, as though it's that easy, then I don't think we'll live long enough to see the US institute a sensible policy on drugs.

Anonymous said...

A qualitative study of some of the first enrolled in such a program, in CH. Now, because they were handpicked both as long time heroin addicts (15 years!) and as Swiss/legal immigrants who somehow had ‘hopeful’ profiles - they all spoke French, for ex. - one can’t compare the success to any other situation.

We also wrote in our report that the fact that the program was new (and faced considerable opposition) contributed to its success - the ‘clients’ were very keen to ‘try’, and to ‘do better’ somehow. None were there to get ‘free drugs’.

For 15 clients, after 18 months, the outcome was overwhelmingly positive. 4-5 got jobs and ‘integrated’ fully, very quickly. Having their problem treated medically, getting some support, and being relieved of a life of hustling/crime/prostitution was enough for them. Several others started activities, etc. 4-5 quit drugs entirely, others reduced dosage (without switching to other drugs.) One woman ‘entered a new relationship and acquired dependents’ and became ‘clean’ after that. Etc. Two failures.

(no reference, the data is personal and sealed, that is why the details are vague as well.)


Sirenity said...

Once the Canadian Election is over and done with us Canadians just might see federal funding for such drug use clinics. I luv BC! We even have free condoms for those who cant afford it. :) I am sure you would be shocked to know that since schools and health units started this free condom provision, teen pregnancy and teen STD's have declined. :p

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