Society should not be prescribing or providing heroin to addicts in B.C.

Brent StaffordtheQ Leave a Comment

theQuestion: Should prescription heroin be made available for addiction treatment in B.C.?*

Why does the left always fall in favour of making drugs more widely available to society? Social conservatives are certainly not the ones clamouring to legalize marijuana, drown citizens in more booze or readily handout heroin. What is it about the left? The only conclusion one could come to is the left’s political and social agendas are somehow advanced by promoting a dulled, inebriated and wasted constituency. This is how the left prefers its voters.

It’s pathological to believe it is better for society to abandon the “just say no to drugs” strategy and favour government providing free heroin to addicts—as is happening every day at the Providence Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver‘s downtown eastside. The publically funded clinic is the only treatment centre in North America where heroin is prescribed and administered to patients for free.

If you are a junky and can prove to health authorities you can not or will not quit shooting up, then the government is all-to-happy to provide you—courtesy of the taxpayer—free heroin. But only just enough free heroin to take the edge off—relieving the desire to seek out street drugs.

Sounds like a wonderful life, forever tethered to a government dose of a powerful opioid. And, it could indeed be forever as Crosstown, in lock step with Insite the first legal supervised drug injection site in North American—also in Vancouver’s downtown eastside—refuses to require addicts to enroll in programs to quit using drugs.

I do agree with my colleague, guest Duel columnist Garth Mullins, that harm reduction works. There are massive benefits to both the individual and society when someone swaps something dangerous for something less harmful. But, when it comes to hard drugs like heroin we must do more than simply stabilize someone’s life, we should strive to better it. Bettering means quitting.

I could be persuaded to support programs like this, if only proponents had the courage to push a path to abstinence. It is a missed opportunity when once stabilized on dependable government heroin that addicts are not guided down a path towards abstinence.

Dosage could be slowly lowered over the course of a year or two with the absolute goal of releasing addicts from the prison that is hard core drug addiction.

Until we seize the moment and enable the path to quitting, society should not be prescribing or providing heroin to addicts in BC.

*First published in 24hrs Vancouver ‘theDuel’

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