Not buying the argument

I read about being more sympathetic to addicts so they won't be stigmatized into not seeking help.

I exclude those who are mentally or physically disabled, they should receive all the help they can get. I am including hard-core addicts. There are mentally ill addicts, but most are simply addicts. I don’t buy the idea that all addicts are mentally ill.

I looked up the definition of stigmatized, and it is “being labeled as socially unacceptable.” If this is a disincentive for seeking help, then I am curious about the other activities of many addicts.

It seems that a number of these “stigmatized” people feel no qualms about robbing banks or stores, mugging people, breaking into cars and homes, shoplifting, urinating and defecating in public places (something I have witnessed), panhandling or leaving needles lying around in parks or school grounds with no consideration for the safety of others. Some steal from their own family members, I have experienced this as well.

Why is it then so difficult for them to seek help? I find this excuse of being too stigmatized indefensible. Perhaps if we spent less time and money coddling them with safe injection sites and wet facilities and instead used the money for treatment centres, we would be more successful.

Providing a residence is a good step, but it must be a dry facility in the strictest sense. Wet facilities are a boon to drug dealers, who find their customers are conveniently in one central location. It is a definite possibility that wet facilities can also turn into a brothel.

Providing free needles and supervising their habit is self perpetuating. It may seem to save lives in the short term, but it is only an attempt to relieve the symptoms when we need a cure for the affliction. I fail to see any science in the finding of those who propose otherwise. They are not saving lives, only postponing the inevitable

Education is another way to show young people the social problems of drug addiction. I don’t know if this is already happening, but it is also a good way to help prevent this problem.

G.E. Poole

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