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Monday, September 5, 2011

Insite Has Got to Go

This week the Supreme Court is hearing the case for and against allowing Insite, a safe injection site, to continue operating. Supreme Court Justice Rothstein noted that the decision on this case could be groundbreaking, and if Insite is allowed, other sites could spring up across the country.

But drug addicts are drug addicts, and allowing them to continue their abusive habit is not only criminal, but immoral too. They need the strong support of their friends and family to ensure they receive professional help to detox. and safely rid themselves of their addiction.

Hence why we constantly see interventions conducted in a circle of close friends and family, each member a staunch reminder of how close they are and how much help they can offer, but at the same time a reminder of the countless people that addict has hurt in his or her quest for more drugs. We also see the immediate refusal when an addict makes a plea for “one last fix” or just one more hit before surrendering to rehabilitation.

This is a game of control and addicts, possessed by their limitless quest for drugs, will do or say anything to regain that control and regain their fix.

Let’s also look at the doctors and nurses who sponsor this criminal activity. Nurses are there to support a patient’s recovery and health and wellness. Whether we view drug addiction as a disease or an addiction or perhaps stubbornness, the fact is that nurses should be there to fix this problem, not condone it or allow it to continue.

Doctors are even more culpable, considering they have taken a Hippocratic Oath to practice medicine ethically. Is supporting a drug addict preserving the purity of life? Is giving a drug addict lethal drugs “prescribing regimens for the good of the patient”? The doctors supporting these sites fail on all accounts.

What these people need is not coddling and acceptance from society. It seems the entire reason people have turned to Insite in the first place is because they have been rejected and pushed out from society. Considering their drug addiction, that is exactly what should happen. The power of exclusion and alienation should serve to demonstrate that what they are doing is not acceptable.

The responsibility to help these people should rest squarely with the family, not with the government or society.

Supporters of these sites also say they result in fewer deaths from overdoses. Of course they do. But giving rapists condoms and then saying “look! They’re having safe sex!” ignores the fact that they’re still rapists. The same applies to the Insite case beforehand.

Really, the question here is whether the government should sponsor people breaking the law, so long as they do so “safely.”

Should Canadian taxpayers pay to allow others to break the law?

Should our government put the rights of criminals before the rights of well-behaved Canadians?

Should Canada have safe havens where the law doesn’t apply?

The answer to all of these questions should be a resounding no. Government sponsorship of a drug habit – as with any illegal, criminal activity – is the wrong way to go. I have never before heard of a government criminalizing an action but then providing or allowing a safe haven in which that action can be committed.

Indeed, you should view that as incredibly wasteful and hypocritical. Either make the action legal or make it illegal. There should not be a safe haven where an illegal act can be safely and legally committed.