Post # 1
This issue has been receiving a lot of media attention lately and I’m curious how the bees feel about it. I’m torn – I don’t necessarily want to use tax dollars to support drug addiction, but at the same time I do want to avoid drug use on the streets and dirty needles being left around (not that I’ve ever seen that anywhere in Toronto that I’ve been).
Post # 3
It’s a slippery slope for me.
From certain angles, safe injection sites seem to encourage drug use for people who already use these types of drugs. I’m sure it’s not scientifically proven or anything, but if they have somewhere safe to go to continue their habit, why not continue their habit?
But on the other hand, it’s at least keeping these people somewhat safe as well as the innocent bystanders around them.
People could argue that this money should go towards drug prevention or education, but can we be serious for 2 seconds? A heroin addict is not going to go to a tax dollar paid for class, be educated and then quit. He also is not going to go to a safe injection site and quit either..
GAH now I’m so confused I don’t know what to think.
Post # 4
@honie309: I agree, it is a really tough issue. There is also the folks who don’t want these sites in their backyards. I’m not sure where they locate them in relation to workplaces, schools, homes, etc., but I can see that being a legitimate concern too.
Post # 5
I support them. It’s a harm reduction strategy– yes, of course we need programs to help people get off of drugs, but many people aren’t ready for that step yet and this is at least a way to cut the risks for those people and for the community at large.
I think this will always be a controversial issue… I don’t really ever see these taking off in the US, though if they did I think it would be a positive thing.
Also, tax dollars are going into drug related treatment anyway– at least in the US, many people without insurance go through detox and/or inpatient care repeatedly, and the cost is covered by taxpayers. But I think the general public isn’t aware of that so it’s easy to overlook. Safe injection sites would just be redirecting some of those funds.
I’m a social worker and encounter a lot of substance abuse issues, so clearly I am biased!
Post # 6
i’m so interested in following this thread. i saw a little blurb about implementing them in TO on CP24 yesterday and just don’t really know where i stand on the issue… i see the pros, for sure. having safe sites where these people can participate in drug use that they would be doing anyways in the parks, etc, could save us tax dollars in the end – less emergency room visits, less issues with policing, clean needles for prevention of disease transmission. so i totally get it. but i’m so vehemently against drug use that it’s hard for me to reconcile the two schools of thought. i’d be interested in seeing studies regarding how these injection sites have helped other cities… i believe vancouver has them… any thoughts from bees in cities that have implemented this?
ETA: wow so many typos… i think i fixed them : )
Post # 7
The only exposure I have with something like this is when I visited Vancouver. When we were exploring the city, it was horrible to walk by the line of people waiting to get into the building. It honestly gave me a really bad impression of Vancouver… not a place I’d like to return to.
Post # 8
I think they are an excellent idea. Nobody is going to be like “Yipee! I’ve been waiting for this service so I can become a heroin addict!”. Addicts will use regardless of whether they have a safe place or not.
If we can decrease needle sharing and thus decrease incidence of HIV, Hep C, etc getting out into the general population, I am all for this. I am currently working on a cure for Hep C, and the ability to treat many of the different genotypes of the disease is so frustratingly limited, and we are not close to fixing that…this is a short term way of helping stop the spread.
I wish they had this in San Fran. It would make the tenderloin and parts of Market St much safer and pleasant to be in, I think.
@Almost Mrs.P: Yeah a lot of tax dollars also go to healthcare for the diseases transmitted through drug needle sharing, etc – I think this would save money in the long run!
Post # 9
@babymakes3: That’s exactly what I was thinking – where will these sites go in the community? It will bring a lot of drug addicts together, obviously, and if they are waiting for a fix, you can’t anticipate how they will be acting.
@mu_t: I think you hit the nail on the head for me…I am so against drugs. I can’t even stand cigarettes and Fiance and I rarely drink (despite having unlimited access to Russian vodka :P). It is hard for me to reconcile my hatred of recreational drug use with the pros these “safe” sites provide. I would also like to see the stats behind the claims.
Post # 10
I can see it from both angles.
I think there will always be people who want drugs for one reason or another. That’s the reasoning behind wanting to legalize, regulate, and tax prostitution and marijuana–make it safe and hey, more money for the government. But hard drugs? I don’t know. Some of these people do want to quit and just aren’t ready or can’t handle it. Fiance was telling me last night that drug users typically have a safe space where they can get high and the body recognizes that place and prepares itself for the drugs so that you don’t overdose. If you get high somewhere else, your body isn’t ready and you can OD and die.
But then I don’t want my taxes going to pay to allow a heroin addict to get his fix and then not do anything for society in return.
@mu_t: having safe sites where these people can participate in drug use that they would be doing anyways in the parks, etc, could save us tax dollars in the end – less emergency room visits, less issues with policing, clean needles for prevention of disease transmission. so i totally get it. but i’m so vehemently against drug use that it’s hard for me to reconcile the two schools of thought.
This is how I feel, as well.
Post # 11
@crayfish: Lol to this!!! “Yipee! I’ve been waiting for this service so I can become a heroin addict!” And, good point on the diseases.
@MrsPanda99: Re location, you run into the same issues with any sort of substance abuse treatment centers. Methadone and suboxone clinics especially struggle with this. Everyone wants them to not be in their backyard. It’s tough to find the right answer.
Post # 12
@babymakes3: could you elaborate a little more? Was the area residencial?
Post # 13
@Sapphire-Dreamer: No, it wasn’t residential. We were downtown. It was close to the Gastown and Chinatown. It was pretty scary for me. As you get closer to the safe site, you notice more and more homeless/drug users. I feel bad for all businesses in the area, because the safe site would deter me from ever going to that area of town again.
Post # 14
I am absolutely 100% against using tax money for this kind of thing. These people were dumb enough to become drug addicts in the first place, let natural selection sort itself out. I wish there was a way I could pick and choose what my taxes went towards, this would definitely not be on my list.
Post # 15
I think it’s safer for those who are going to use. I would think it would help with the spead of disease and also cut down on dirty needles in the streets. It’s also my understanding (I saw a little bit of a show about it on Discovery Fit and Health once) that they give information on rehab centers as well. I don’t think these places are going to make anyone want to become a heroin addict, but it gives those who do use a safe place to do it.
Post # 16
@MrsPanda99: Insite in Vancouver has been a rousing success. The medical and social services communities support it completely. It removes some of the power from the criminal elements, and also provides a portal to recovery for those who want to recover. Patients can also get clean on the upper floors at insite, and it has helped many people leave their addictions behind.