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Free Heroin To Addicts

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Just over the United States northwest border, addicts will soon be able to get their fix from the Canadian government in the form of free heroin (search) administered by nurses and doctors on the taxpayer's dime.

 

"They're using heroin. They'll continue to use heroin. What we're trying to do is prevent them from getting something irreversible like HIV, hep [hepatitis] C and overdose death,” said Dr. Martin Schechter, the director of the heroin program.

 

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What do ya'll think??

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Heard about this on the news. Apparently they're going to try it in several places across the country as well (Toronto & Montreal were mentioned)

 

Didn't read the article, but I think it's been tried in other countries as well. Probably Holland or something.

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I'm not hating on VanCity because of its users, rather it's radical methods of helping addicts.

 

In Winnipeg, they give out "safer to smoke crack kits" with crack pipes, lip balm among other things in order to reduce the spread of disease.

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The "safer use" kits, available through the WRHA's Street Connections outreach van, contain straight glass pipes, screens, alcohol swabs, matches, pipe cleaners, lip balm, chewing gum and condoms.

 

Dr. Margaret Fast, medical officer of health for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, says the program will reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B and HIV.

 

It's a bit more than crack pipes and lip balm.

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Except that using heroin is not immoral, and killing people is, duh, duh, fucking duh.

 

It sounds stupid to me. That said, it's a lot less stupid than using criminal law to fight the heroin problem, and between this (only an experiment, remember) and the safe injection sites, it's refreshing to see government approaching a problem from new ways to find out what works best, instead of blindly following drug war dogma.

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Except that using heroin is not immoral, and killing people is, duh, duh, fucking duh.

 

It sounds stupid to me. That said, it's a lot less stupid than using criminal law to fight the heroin problem, and between this (only an experiment, remember) and the safe injection sites, it's refreshing to see government approaching a problem from new ways to find out what works best, instead of blindly following drug war dogma.

Shesh THANK YOU!

I was beginning to think I was the only one not seeing the problem in giving heroin addicts heroin. In Vancouver they have had safe injection sites for a while, helping to combat the spread of the HIV etc. What would be wrong in us giving these addicts what they need? Its a lot safer because its regulated! People always seem to get angry when we talk about "useing the taxpayers dollar to help addicts" but these are PEOPLE as well, not just addicts and they need help! Arresting them over and over again and attempting to rehabilate them when they dont want to be rehabilited is not going to do anything. Its going to continue the cycle. What it comes down to is humanity, these people arent bad people for being addicts, people need to stop looking at addiction as a morality issue and more of a mental and physical health issue.

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I think what I like best about this program is what it says it is NOT supposed to do. Its not some kind of a treatment program, designed to get addicts off drugs. I'm sure that they're offered councilling and info about rehab, but thats not what this program is for. Its more about keeping people from resorting to prostitution or crime to get money to satisfy their needs.

 

I mean, addicts are going to get drugs anyway, whats the downside to just making sure that they don't stab me in the gut with a an old rusty blade from a discarded exacto-knife to get my wallet just to pay for it? The arguements against seem a bit too based on the idea that drugs are inherantly evil, and any respectable government should never allow itself to be associated with them, have them on the premesis, or promote their use under any circumstances. That seems counter productive to me.

 

Does anyone have any numbers of these European projects of a similar nature? Were they successful at all?

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I think these experiments are important whether they help or not. And I have no problem with my tax dollars going to help people who are in over their head and really do need help. I have more of a problem with my tax dollars going to some lazy ass bonehead who can't get off his ass to find a job when he's perfectly capable but is too comfortable with his welfare cheque.

 

Trying things to help the drug problem is better than just trying to pretend it doesn't exist. And if anyone really doesn't know what it's like here in Vancouver, next time your in town, check out the downtown east side. I've been through there a million times and it still blows me away that such a place exists.

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Here's the problem I see with using Canadian tax dollars for these safe kits. They contain "straight glass pipes, screens, alcohol swabs, matches, pipe cleaners, lip balm, chewing gum and condoms." Now aside from the alcohol swabs, a normal pot-smoking teenager who's ditching school and forgot their kit at home could use all that crap. And I think alot of teenagers (i.e. I would if I lived in the couv) would just take them and use them to creat a fun afternoon, which would be cool except that it's government funded. And that's very very uncool. I mean you're set, you have a pipe some screens after your high you chew some gum throw on a little lip balm and...... go have sex with someone I guess. Stupid Canadian government... No wonder other countries don't take us seriously.

Edited by Lux
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What we should really do is legalize all forms of drugs. I'll tell you why.

 

First and most importantly, it'd piss the americans off to no end. There drug tzar(however you spell it) would probally pitch a fit.

 

Secondly, you could take the shit out of it. Lets face it people are going to be able to get the drugs no matter what, its like trying to fix a dam with chewing gum everytime the police make a bust 3 more people step up to fill in the hole. But if you legalized it, hey at least the government could get their share and the use it to fund anti-drug programs or education or something.

 

Lastly, you'd be able to track people's use of the drugs and get the people are really in trouble help, instead of letting them od in the gutter.

 

Of course you'd get all the other benifits mentioned, slowing the spread of some diseases and whatnot.

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I would rather have my money going towards making it safe for someone to use heroin or whatever than paying a shitload more to pay for their medical care when they end up getting HIV or some other disease by not using safe needles etc...

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My father was murdered over heroin. This would have happened regardless if the drug was legal or not. He was getting high with a "friend" and they got into an arguement over whether or not my dad's friend had given my dad a proper hit. [my father was paralyzed on the left side of his body due to a stroke] It came to blows and my father was stabbed and died in the hospital. I don't know where he's buried and I don't really give a fuck. Why? Because the fucker got killed over fucking drugs man.

 

Should drugs be legalized in my opinion? Most definately. Will they ever? Most likely no.

 

Violence begets violence, regardless of whether drugs come into play. If people want to get fucked up, let 'em. If they step out of line, do the same that you would to a drunk that decides it's a good idea to drive.

 

When was the last time you heard of someone running someone over because they were messed up on heroin? I can't recall one instance of it being on the news, but nearly everyday we hear about some idiot who thinks it's a good idea to drink and drive.

 

Anyways, that's my two cents.

 

Edit - I missed the point of this thread. Free drugs? That's retarded and I have to agree with Moonlight's post.

Edited by Dan
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yeah, i've been one to say legalize everything, for a few reasons...

 

don't make it free! why the hell do you think they still sell cigarettes? it's because the government makes a crapload of money off it. don't kid yourself. same with casino operations and stuff.

 

if you legalize everything, you can do what you're doing right now... provide sanitary stuff for the users to prevent spread of preventable diseases and stuff.

 

if you regulate such things, you can control where people do such things. i don't know if this even remotely makes sense, but i know the government charges a ton for cigarettes. they should proportionately charge tons for high level drugs like heroin and cocaine and stuff. and if people complain about health care, well, make their premiums either go to that, or give them a different kind? or take them off it? sound calloused? then don't choose to legally do drugs...

 

i know it's a pipe dream, but still. if you make laws restricting the way drugs are used and such and provide them, i'm not saying things will be that much better. let's face it. people would abuse it. kind of like drinking and such. but if you slam people with hefty fines, the government gets more money (which they love), and people have less inclination to do it. theoretically.

 

i know this proposition is full of holes, but hey.

 

and yeah, free heroin is kind of not the best idea, i don't think. they argue they're only serving the addicts, but how do we know that? if i wanted heroin, i'd go out and shoot up for free at one of these so-called clinics. i don't have to be an addict to get it, do i? so it's almost like condoning it, in a way.

 

on the flip side, yeah, you're sort of helping the addicts, but hey...

 

who's to say?

 

good on them for trying something different, i guess.

 

i'm sure my idea is rather off base. but kind of like a lot of things, it sounds pretty good on paper, but would probably not work in reality.

 

<cough> communism <cough>

 

edit: government getting money is definitely not the solution. if anything, don't do drugs... but that sort of thinking doesn't really work. so offset everything by vastly overcharging. only reason cigarettes are legal, really. if you look at the stats, it's allowed only because of historical and societal context. and, moreover, they make a crapload of money off it.

 

to put that into context, i was working (at dominion, where i work...), and someone went to the counter ahead of me to buy a carton of cigarettes. i dont' know much about cigarettes, but there can't be much in a carton. small package. about maybe five by five inches? nah, i think i'm exaggerating. it cost the person almost eighty bucks... i think a pack costs a person seven something. on average.

 

coffin nails is right...

 

bah.

 

world's a mess.

Edited by cavalier_eternal
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Now aside from the alcohol swabs, a normal pot-smoking teenager who's ditching school and forgot their kit at home could use all that crap.  And I think alot of teenagers (i.e. I would if I lived in the couv) would just take them and use them to creat a fun afternoon, which would be cool except that it's government funded.

I would seriously doubt some group of kids could just walk into the clinic and ask for a recovery kit. I'm sure they'd have to fill out some forms, perhaps a blood test, etc. There's a screening process, obviously.

 

 

go have sex with someone I guess.

God, I hope you're not one of those people who think condom machines in schools promote sex.

Edited by Jaded Monkey™
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The reason why most governments don't legalize all drugs despite the argument that they can tax it and such, therefore benefitting the economy is because that's not realistically possible. People often draw parallels with tobacco being taxed; it's not possible to do this with most drugs however. Tobacco is rather difficult and expensive to be grown privately and made into cigarettes by an individual person. Therefore people just buy it at the stores and it's grown by tobacco farmers with all the resources, equipment, and so on. With marijuana, meth, heroin, crack, etc this isn't the case. These drugs can be grown, processed, made and so forth in just about any home. If you legalize weed for example, people will just grow it because it's relatively easy to do, no need for stores, taxes, and the like.

 

edit: spelling

Edited by HoboFactory
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