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BC’s legal drug injection site will stay that way

October 2nd, 2011 by josh farley

If you were against the prospect of a methadone clinic in Bremerton, you’ll likely be incensed by a rather radical approach to drug addiction in British Columbia. At Insite, a clinic in Vancouver’s lower eastside, drug addicts are able to bring in and inject illegal drugs under the supervision of a nurse.

The argument for the clinic is that even if they’re choosing to abuse drugs like heroin, the chance they’ll overdose or hurt themselves while in the presence of medical professionals is far less. A study released recently confirms that point.

And on Friday, proponents of the clinic scored a victory when the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that Insite would be allowed to operate in the face of drug laws because closing it would be a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (The Charter is basically the Canadian version of our Bill of Rights, though it was passed in 1982.)

As you may recall, a Seattle non-profit led an effort recently to place a methadone clinic in Bremerton to combat the region’s rising opiate addiction epidemic. But businesses and residents in the area, fearing problems it might bring to the Charlston neighborhood, pushed back and the non-profit abandoned its plans.

What that non-profit does is far different from a free injection site. Methadone, a long-acting opiate, is used as a replacement drug for opiate addicts. It can be effective at quelling the addiction without giving the patient a high.

That said, how do you feel about the idea of so-called “safe injection sites?” Are those Canadians on to something, or are they off their rockers?

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8 Responses to “BC’s legal drug injection site will stay that way”

  1. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    I think the message we’re sending is clear. No respect for the law nor compliance and personal accountability is important any longer.
    The Height of Asininity seems an appropriate phrase for this latest outrage of ,,,,,?

  2. Coco1 Says:

    The King County Bar Association conducted a “Drug Policy Project”. Part of this project included an enormous amount to research about what other countries are doing. Of course, the Canadian Injection Sites were talked about under what they call Harm Reduction efforts. I haven’t read through this part of the study in a long time, but I seem to remember that a lot of the focus was the reduction of HIV among the IV drug users. Since everyone in Canadian gets medical attention, this was a way to reduce national health care costs. I also remember they talked about the success of getting those addicted to opiates treatment to overcome their addiction. The numbers were low, but better than they were before these sites started up. Here is a link the KCBA Drug Policy Project: http://www.kcba.org/druglaw/

  3. RECOVERED ADDICT Says:

    VANCOUVER / ADDICTION / HOMELESS / CHAOS / POVERTY

    THE HARSH REALITY OF ADDICTION
    The producers of this short film are both recovering addicts who have both spent time living and indulging with drug addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Today they are both clean and sober with multiple years of recovery
    http://www.archive.org/details/VancouverAddictionHomelessChaosPoverty

  4. Coco1 Says:

    I have to make one more comment. The King County Bar Association “Drug Policy Project” is an excellent source of information about what things have worked for other countries (it is obvious what has happened in Canada has been successful because they are continuing with it). It also addresses the way drug problems are handled in this country and how it’s not working. Just this year, the #1 cause of accidental deaths of adults in the USA has gone from car accidents to overdose of opiates. People think of heroin and they cringe like it a problem with bad people. The problems this country is having with opiate addiction among citizens (this includes heroin, oxy, Vicadon etc…) could be your grandma, your aunt, your boss, your friend’s teenage son, or anyone you have a relationship with. It’s a wide spread problem. Popping a prescribed pill is much easier than injecting heroin, but it can have the same consequences.

  5. erik Says:

    ok methadone and heroin are the samething…i was in the clinic for 4 years even harder to kick than heroin….but it did help me get straight and become responsible ..the one thing it does is cure all cravings till yer next dose so u dont have to concentrate on getting next fix its one of THE strongest opiates contrary to what the dumb writer says …u can live life! however methadone gets u just as high as any other opiate till u stop taking more and take the same dose for awhile…the clinics are just legal dealers anyway they tried to tell me they didnt think i was ready to quit after 4 years of holding steady jobs and being responsible…. im now 18 months clean its a major cash cow for them cause its all subsidized if u ask me the shooting clinics are better at least its not a scam… believe it or not most addicts go to the clinic for life dont be fooled… alot of peepz abuse the methadone as well mixing it with other drugs

  6. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    “The argument for the clinic is that even if they’re choosing to abuse drugs like heroin, the chance they’ll overdose or hurt themselves while in the presence of medical professionals is far less. A study released recently confirms that point.”

    So..if a person is set on self destruction using illegal drugs such as heroin – it is better to provide medical people and a sanitary place for them to inject the illegal drug for their safety?
    Why bother having a law against drug use with one hand and hold out the other hand to help them inject the illegal substance so they don’t hurt themselves?

    Its against the law to rob someone but if a person is determined, should society pay a cop to help them break the law so they don’t get hurt? Congratulations erik!

  7. Coco1 Says:

    I think you just nailed it Sharon.

  8. Erik Says:

    lol u can argue this all day….the shades of gray…whats right whats wrong….i do know one thing….people will get their drugs no matter what…all u can do is try to limit widespread use and bust the big fish to limit supply…but the government makes too much money off of it to make it legal….weapons manufacturers, rehab clinics i think would actually lose money by legalizing cause you have to pay so much when it’s through the court system along with the subsidies they receive from the government to back such drug laws…i mean misdemeanor drug violations are the governments bread and butter in most countries….the assets repossessed, and money generated from fines and probation programs…it wouldnt be cost effective for them to totally legalize…

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