Drug Crime Containment

Our family is lucky to live where we do. Our neighbourhood has a strong community spirit and many of our neighbours have young families with kids the same age as ours. As well, we live right next door to John Hendry Park and Trout Lake. However, one downside to this area is the number of drug users and dealers that frequent the neighbourhood.

It is not uncommon to see users shooting up in the park. On several occasions we have seen junkies shooting up in the kids club house at the neighbourhood daycare, as well as shooting up within 3m of our backyard. Not only is this something I don’t care to see or have my kids see, but there are also the obvious health dangers. To top it off, where there are junkies you can be sure that there are property crimes. Despite all of these bad things, I don’t really wish any ill on the junkies (the dealers are another story) and I try and maintain an anti-NMBY attitude.

What has become absolutely clear to me is the immediate need for the expansion of safe injection sites and drug maintenance programs. The upsides to these programs are many. Safe injections sites, if accessible and embraced by the drug addicts, ensure that drug paraphernalia is kept out of public places. There are supposedly several advantages to the users such as getting access to outreach workers. Drug maintenance programs would allow users access to “safe” drugs and would hopefully greatly reduce the risk of overdoses. The community would benefit greatly because users would not have to resort to crime as much in order to maintain their drug addiction. It’s important to note that both of these programs need to be implemented at the same time: appropriate access to drugs and a place to take them.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a counter-argument that even came close to making sense. But hey, I’m willing to be convinced. A common response that I hear is that the users and dealers should all be put in jail and that our laws are too soft. If this were true, then America would really be winning their War On Drugs. Incarceration is skyrocketing in the US and there is no sign that drug use or dealing is abating. Policing and imprisonment is an abject failure. In any event, I consider this response to be a red herring. For the time being we are stuck with considerable numbers of junkies and it will take time before anything changes this. Another common response is that by offering prescribed drugs or a place to take them, we are actually encouraging drug use. This, some people reason, will cause many more people to become addicted to drugs.� I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I know anyone that would start injecting heroin because it was “free”. These kinds of arguments are based on a complete lack of understanding on the events or situations that lead to people becoming drug addicts.

It’s time that we as a society turn away from many of our pre-conceived (prejudiced?) notions of how to deal with the drug problem, and allow for an expansion of new harm reduction policies and programs. Certainly they can’t be any worse than the current policing solution.

One comment on “Drug Crime Containment

  1. Warm greetings! Thanks for all the information, a very nice and well done site! Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *