HARM REDUCTION: THE OPPOSING VIEW

SGT./ REV. ANDRE BIGRAS

INTRODUCTION:

Everyone should be in favor of Harm Reduction especially if it
accomplishes it’s aims and goals. Harm reduction is synonymous
with drug use and is in all aspects of the government’s drug
strategy. They are programs such as Needle Exchange, Injection
Sites, Cocaine Pipe Distribution, Wet Room for Severe
Alcoholics, Methadone Clinics, Medical Marijuana and the latest one is the Free Heroin Project in Vancouver, etc.

Harm reduction is a complete paradigm shift from the goal of
recovery, and instead teaches one to use drugs in a less harmful
way. Abstinence is almost non existent in this new approach.
Many people base their views on emotion and ideology rather than
on facts and experience in this new philosophy.

As a society,are we on the right track or should we re-examine the programs we have in place?
Are they effective, are they accomplishing the goals set in place such as the reduction of HIV/AIDS, of Hepatitis “C”? Are they reducing drug use or are they encouraging use? In AA, this could be considered enabling.

Let’s examine them and see if they are bringing about the change
that will minimize the cost associated to them.
Canada’s Drug Strategy defines harm reduction as:
“to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs to
individuals, family and communities.”

William Penn wrote:
“Wrong is wrong even if everyone agrees with it
Right is right even if everyone is against it.”

I would like to share my 11 years of experience and training in
the area of addiction, of working as a volunteer with the poor,
homeless and addicts of the inner city of Ottawa.. The
following is what I perceived in the area of harm reduction,
drug use, abuse and of poverty.

We as a society are faced with constantly increasing health cost
to the point where we are questioning the sustainability of our
health care program. Possibly, there are ways to minimize cost
especially if it is determined that we are spending into
programs that are not producing the positive results desired. I
will address what I see as those programs and let you decide
their worth and their effectiveness from what I’ve witnessed and
learnt over the years. I’m certain there is an opposing view
and am open to it providing they can produce scientific surveys
to disprove my observations and what I have gleaned from
research.

NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS:

Let’s begin with the Needle Exchange program that came about in
the mid to late 80’s. The goal was supposed to minimize the
spread of HIV/AIDS and of Hepatitis C. They began as a true
exchange program, one dirty needle for a clean one to ensure
dirty needles were not left where children or others could be
pricked by them. The program has evolved to the point where we
now give out 25 needles at a time, now making it a needle
distribution program versus an exchange program and we now have
crews that go to known injection drug user’s sites to clean
them up. This manner of collection is considered “returned
needles” rather that the true “retrieve needle” program and we
pay for it. Returned needles can also come from diabetics and
others who have a medical need to inject. This creates a flaw
and does not give a true picture of given/return rate of
needles. They do not count them individually but arrive at a
number by the weight and level of needles seen in the used
needles containers. This also has room for errors and yet we are
given very specific numbers of needles returned. How much has
this program cost over the years, across this land given that
Vancouver alone hands out over 2 million needles a year?

I will state the initial goals and aims of the needle exchange
program was to reduce and prevent the incidence of HIV/AIDS.
Given the opposite has occurred, they now state:
“Imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have a needle
exchange program.”

What other medical program would survive with this type of
reasoning?
The statistics demonstrate clearly that they are not achieving
the desired goals.
The needle exchange program might work well for heroin addicts
but not for cocaine addicts.

Ottawa is known as a cocaine town where 83% of intravenous drug users are women and 76% of men are injecting cocaine (according to Lynn Leonards Community Health Research Report of 2001). The needle exchange program does not work for this segment of society as they may inject up to 15 to 20 times a day.
Cocaine users say they know that the needles are available but when they are high on cocaine they just forget about safe injection. (Magner 1997)

I believe that explains why the rate of HIV positive has doubled
from 10.3% in 1992 to 23% in 2000 in the Injection drug users
attending the site needle exchange program (according to Lynne
Leonard’s report).
She also stated that injection drug users accounted for 2% of
HIV diagnoses between 1985 and 1988 and this up to the end of
1991. As of 1999 they now accounted for 17%.
The needle exchange began in the early 1990 and the results
speak for themselves, while we were giving out needles the rate
of HIV/AIDS rose from 2% to 23% which is not a very positive
outcome of a program initiated to prevent and control the spread
of HIV/AIDS.
Similar increased results were reported in Montreal, Vancouver
and Toronto.
Have we attained the goals desired according to Canada’s Drug
Strategy definition of harm reduction as:
“to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs to
individuals, family and communities” and the goals of the Needle
Exchange program to prevent and minimize and control the spread
of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

Diabetes affects two million Canadians. It is a chronic disease
that has no cure, It is the leading cause of death by disease in
Canada, yet diabetics must pay for their needles.
Somehow it just doesn’t seem to add up.

SAFE INJECTION SITE:

The philosophy behind this is that we can’t eliminate the use of
hard drugs, therefore let us try to minimize their consequences.
Given that same logic, the reality is that we can’t stop rape
either but do we consider trying to reduce it’s consequences and
provide the means to do it. We also have a problem with the
sharing of straws to snort cocaine in that they can spread Hep
“C” so should we also implement a straw exchange program?
According to the Canadian Press article written by Amy
Carmichael on Dec 26th, 2003, she states that crack cocaine has
hit the Vancouver streets and it is now estimated that 90% of
intravenous drug users have Hep “C” and 30% are HIV positive.
They have now installed an inhalation room in the sanctioned
injection facility and staff are now looking to allow people to
smoke crack there. She goes on to state that Maxine Davis,
director for Dr. Peter Center have been running an illegal
supervised injection site for years. She states that 5 users
have quit during the year and a half that the center has offered
supervised injection service. I applaud the five who have made
a positive health choice but question if five is an acceptable
number over that time frame.
Vancouver presently has an safe injection site pilot program to
study it’s effectiveness. Right at the start, the name
contradicts itself in that there is no such thing as a safe
injection site when one injects unknown illegal drugs into their
body. The illegal drug is as dangerous as the manner in which
they are taken. Another thing to consider is that today’s
cocaine dose can be the overdose of tomorrow. One never knows
how the body will react especially to cocaine. Remove one fang
from a rattle snake and it is still as deadly is an analogy that
is similar.

One newspaper referred to the safe injection site having 12
stalls instead of cubicles where addicts can shoot up. His
choice of words makes me wonder if we look upon the addict as
animals instead of human beings suffering from the disease of
addiction. Is the benefit of a safe site more symbolic than
practical?

Given cocaine is the drug of choice over heroin in the drug
injection user population, will the addict wait in line for
hours at a time given he may have to inject 15 to 20 times a day
if on a binge? Given Vancouver has approximately 5000
injection drug users but can accommodate only 248 per day, if
they are open 12 hours given they have only 12 cubicles and
usually a person is given ½ hour at a time. What happens to the
rest especially those who are cocaine injection users who binge?.
Does this really provide a service or is it only window dressing
or worse big business using an illness to achieve their goals?

This program goes against and violates the UN organization’s
international agreement on ways to control drug abuse.
It also goes against the Criminal Code Sec 462.2 which deals
with:
“{Offence} Everyone who knowingly imports into Canada, exports from Canada, manufactures, promotes or sells instruments or literature for illicit drug use is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction
a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both; or
b) for s second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding three hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.”

In an article in the Globe and Mail on January 1, 2004, an
individual drug user was suing his dealer for his addiction,
poor health, emotional and financial problems. Will the
governments eventually be held accountable for enabling and
assisting addicts in their addiction? Cigarette companies in the
USA didn’t believe they could be held accountable until they
were fined in the billions of dollars. Food for thought.

This program has been introduced after studying the Frankfurt
Germany experience. Let’s take a closer look and examine what
is happening with the Frankfurt program. It was fortunate to
have a member from the RCMP Drug Awareness Program from British
Columbia attend and report back first hand what he observed and
what is happening with the injection sites in Frankfurt while
attending the conference with the Institute on Global Drug
Policy. Here are excerpts from this conference and from the
member’s observation :

Conference:
The Institute On Global Drug Policy issued a press release on
May 7, 2001.
They stated:
“Softening of drug policy, which has been termed ‘Harm
Reduction’ was identified as a major failure of international
drug policy. Examples of failed policies which were discussed
include decriminalization of some drugs, needle exchange or hand
outs, heroin maintenance, non-abstinence based treatment and
prevention messages which accept drug use or encourage drug use
in adolescence as inevitable. ‘Harm Reduction’ policy is
resulting in increasing drug use and crime throughout countries,
which have implemented it. Specifically, Canada, Holland,
Switzerland, Australia and some cities in the United States. It
is clear that the fallout of soft drug policy particularly
threatens the well being of adolescents.”

Dr Eric Voth, a presenter at the conference stated:
” It is increasingly clear that ‘Harm Reduction’ policy should
be regarded as ‘Harm Production’ policy. Effective drug policy
should instead embrace ‘Harm Prevention’ and ‘Harm
Elimination’.”

Member:
In Frankfurt
“In the early 1990’s the mayor was approached by the business
community who wanted to make Frankfurt a world banking center if
they could get rid of the drug users from the park.”
They were estimated to be approximately 12,000.

“- In 1991, hundreds of extra uniform police were brought into
the city to start cleaning up the park.”
Through enforcement they displaced the problem from Frankfurt to
the outside areas.

“- 1993 the overdose rate within the city limits dropped
dramatically (from 127 to 68), as had the number of users
allowed to stay in the city. We were unable to determine how
this affected the overdose rates in the many communities next to
Frankfurt as the other users moved out. However, we were able
to determine that the overdose rate for all Germany has
continued to rise.”

What brought down the death rate, the injection sites or the
fact that a large number of addicts left the immediate area?
This must be determined before we can claim success of the
injection site program.

Here are some interesting facts with regards to Drug Injection
sites ( DIS):

“Many addicts are now poly drug users injecting a mixture of
heroin, cocaine and benzodiazepines (Frankfurt cocktail), the
heroin is between 7% and 12% and the cocaine around 30%.”
“An increase in cocaine use has started to present problems.
One DIS manager is changing his staff from three shifts of four
to two shifts of six due to an increase in violence associate to
use of cocaine. Although this will shorten the number fo hours
they are open, he believes safety of his staff is more
important.”

” Each DIS is different in size. The largest one has 12
injection spots. Each user is allowed to use the slot
approximately 30 minutes. They are open 14 hours per day. This
allows a maximum of 336 injections ( some repeat users) per day
in that site. With all four sites, the maximum injections would
be around 900 per day. They estimate that the total number of
addicts in the city is back around 10,000.”

That leave approximately 9,100 who don’t use the facilities.

“There is a line up of users in the street outside each DIS
every morning waiting to get into the DIS. Due to the limited
number of people allowed to enter the DIS at the same time,
users often inject outside rather than wait for their turn.”

” After the DIS’s close, users hang out in groups on the
sidewalks near them. Drug are openly injected in these areas
until the wee hours of the morning.

-Drug dealers come to the areas near the DIS’s to sell drugs.
– Although the overdose rate in Frankfurt remains low, the rate of Hep C infection is over 90%.
– The budget for the system used in Frankfurt is approximately 12 million dollars per year.”

Were all these drawbacks examined along with the perceived
benefits?

This Vancouver injection program and site alone cost between
$900.000 to $1.5 million per year and already they say that the
need is to have at least 4 in the East Hasting neighborhood..
Can this money not be spent in more innovative ways to encourage
people to quit and educate others to not become involved . Is
our tax money being spent wisely and effectively? After one
year, if like Dr. Peter’s Center only a small percentage of
people quit means that the greater percentage will still have to
use it. It will be a continuous drain and will only grow in
numbers. The cycle will continue.

It is stated that these types of programs will not increase
usage but I only look at the former Vancouver East Hasting
area, when we stopped enforcing and permitted that behavior to
go on unchecked, we now see the results. How can we be so
certain that this program will not have a negative impact?
Provide the way and they will come.

METHADONE AND OXICODIN PROGRAM:

Methadone is a powerful narcotic analgesic pain killer that is
given to replace heroin or morphine as this takes away the
craving for those drugs and alleviates withdrawal symptoms, yet
doesn’t give the high associated with heroin. Some people have
basically replaced the illegal drug with a prescription drug and
have been on methadone for years. Have we really resolved the
drug issue in that person’s life?. It should also be noted that
withdrawal from methadone is more severe that heroin.

Methadone was supposed to be given temporarily with the goal of
abstinence but with the miserable rate of successful withdrawal
the new focus is now on “maintenance” where the addicts take the
drug until they decide to quit if ever.

Another irony is that methadone does not stop addicts using
other drugs. A 1995 survey of 47 Methadone Users by the
Melbourne Drug Rehabilitation facility in Odyssey House found
that none had stopped using illicit narcotics. Is methadone
only a band aid solution to cover a deep infection and fails to
treat it?

In Ottawa, according to an article in the Ottawa Citizen, James
Gordon’s article on July 6th, 2004 states that there are between
800 and 1,200 people on waiting list for treatment that are
addicted to heroin and codeine. This is supposedly above the
ones already receiving treatment. Lynne Leornard report of 2001
state that there are approximately 3,500 injection drug users in
Ottawa. She also stated that Ottawa was a cocaine city where
83% of women and 76% of men injection drug users use cocaine.
If you average that percentage out it is approximately 79.5% and
that is 2600 hundred people who inject cocaine out of the 3,500.
There are others that are on speed and other injectable drugs
along with people already being treated. If you remove the ones
on cocaine it leaves only 900 injection drug users. Given we
already have programs in place, how can we still have between
800 and 1,200 on a waiting list. When one studies in this area,
the numbers rarely add up.

In Prince Albert’s Pine Grove Correctional Center Saskatchewan
they have a methadone program. One of the inmate vomited up her
dose so that another inmate could consume it. Sonia Faith
Keepness died from an apparent overdose seeing the dosage was too
strong for her. Drug addiction is what drove Sonia to this
irrational behavior, to denigrate herself. How can we call this
type of situation compassionate?

In line with methadone, there are other clinics that are now
supplying opioids, narcotic prescribed drugs as a form of Harm
Reduction. This is done under the guise of helping users live
as normal a life as possible. In Ottawa, we had a local doctor
prescribing morphine based drugs such as oxicontin under the Harm
Reduction banner. He was found to be incompetent and had his
licence to prescribe narcotics banned for two years and then to
be re-evaluated. ” His inadequate control of the drug supply was
mirrored by the “physical chaos” of his office which was so
disorganized that patient charts were lost. His careless
practices put his patients at risk” is how Dr. Pennington
concluded. Is this really a harm reduction program or is it a
harm production problem, causing more drugs to be hitting the
streets. It is time to re-evaluate the whole harm reduction
philosophy and also the cost involved, then sit down and see if
there is not a better way of doing business.

CRACK COCAINE DISTRIBUTION KITS:

In Vancouver and Toronto, we have the approved Crack Cocaine
distribution kits which contain, a crack pipe, condoms,
vaseline, and vitamin C for your health, along with educational
material, again all in the name of Harm Reduction. In Toronto,
the original crack pipe had copper tips and were recalled for
health reasons seeing when the copper is heated up creates a
health hazard.
The reason for these kits being distributed is that without the
proper pipes, the user would burn and cut their lips which would
create open sores that could lead to HIV/AIDS or Hep “C” if they
shared it or had oral sex. If this wasn’t so serious, if would
be laughable.
Cocaine can kill you the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 10th time, you
never know yet we play with the lives of these addicts. Crack
cocaine is one the most addictive drugs.
Paranoia, a common effect of cocaine use can cause violent and
erratic behavior. Sometimes users experience ‘coke bugs’
imaginary bugs crawling over their skin. Crack causes euphoria
followed quickly by sadness, depression, irritability,
sleeplessness and paranoia. The final stage is schizophrenic
like psychosis complete with delusions and often hallucinations
and we hand out crack pipe to save our youth from HIV/AIDS and
Hep “C’. It’s okay if they go crazy as long as they don’t have
these terminal diseases. Whether clean pipe or not, whether
legal or illegal, the effects and reactions do not change.
How much is this program costing us financially and with wasted
lives?.

It reminds me of the Pied Piper taking our kids down the road to
doom except we are handing them the pipe to do it to themselves.
At the Senate hearing on Drugs chaired by Senator Nolin, Senator
Ed Lawson recommended that heroin and cocaine be made available
in liquor stores. What about the above effects of the drugs on
human beings?

WET ROOM / CONTROL DRINKING PROGRAM:

This program is available in Toronto at Seaton House and in
Ottawa at the Shephards of Good Hope Shelter.
It entails giving severe alcoholics, (those chosen) alcohol on
a daily basis. When this program was introduced in Ottawa, the
Citizen Newspaper article of February 12th, 2001 reported on it
with an article entitled “Treating Alcoholics with Alcohol”.
The very first sentence quoting Mary Cleary in charge of the
program said it all:
“10 chronic alcoholics being served the very thing that’s
killing them * alcohol.”
They serve 5 ounce glasses of Brights 74 sherry once an hour up
to 14 drinks per day. This is called an Harm Reduction Program.

This is not a closed program, the participants have their drink
then can leave and return one hour later for the next. What
they do or take in between, no one knows for sure.
Alcohol to an alcoholic is poison whether it is sherry or
mouthwash. The liver cannot distinguish one from the other.

“She went on to state that within the first month, the
participants wanted showers, saw doctors and dentist, got
haircuts, took care of themselves.”

In other words, we had clean drunks.

Here are the statistics for one year according to a Citizen
article dated July 19th, 2003.
It states that out of 20 participants, five people have gone
through the program whatever that means, 10 who, after
successfully finishing the program died from illnesses, mainly
irreversible liver damage and 5 others have relapsed. I will let
the results speak for themselves but this program cost over
$300,000 per year. We do not even know if any have quit drinking
yet we are told the program is a success, my question is a
success for who?

A health worker for the City of Ottawa sent me an e-mail in
response to mine indicating that she has “yet to meet a homeless
injection drug user who is not HEP “C” positive and most of the
street alcoholics are similarly infected”, which leads me to my
next but most critical point about this program.
In the Canadian Liver Foundation Hepatitis “C” brochure, it
states:
“The disease progresses more quickly if the infected person
regularly drinks alcohol.”

Is it a coincidence that 10 participants in the program died of
irreversible liver damage given the above?

It goes on to say:
“Most patients who acquire hepatitis “C” as adults, and who DO
NOT REGULARLY DRINK ALCOHOL, will never develop any life
threatening complications or die from Hepatic disease.”

It further states:
“The most important aspect of keeping healthy is preventing any
further damage to the liver. Alcohol (including spirits, wine,
beer, light beer) is potentially harmful to the liver and should
be avoided. Regular use of alcohol allows the virus to grow
more readily in the liver and in the blood, so it’s essential if
you have advanced cirrhosis not to drink alcohol. If you have
mild hepatitis “C”, you may drink occasionally, but no more than
two drinks in one day.”
“Many patients ask if there is a special diet once they are
diagnosed with hepatitis “C”?
The most important dietary recommendation is to stop using
alcohol because the virus progresses more rapidly in people who
drink alcohol.”
I think when one recognizes that most patients have Hepatitis
“C”, its obvious that this program is not conducive to Health Canada’s definition of Harm Reduction:
” “to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs
to individuals, family and communities.”
In light of the above, shouldn’t we call this a euthanasia
program instead of an Harm Reduction program, which it really is?

FREE HEROIN DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM:

This is the latest Harm Reduction Pilot Program with an $8.1
million dollar three year budget. This program will be in
Vancouver’s East Hasting area and will have 158 drug users and
this is set to begin at the end of 2004. The clinic will have
extraordinary high levels of security and the heroin will be
delivered by armed truck. 88 people will receive heroin and 70
will receive methadone. The want to evaluate if
heroin-maintenance therapy will provide a viable option for
chronic heroin users. They base their need for this type of
program on similar European projects where they say that heroin
users have returned to school, stopped committing crimes and
there is less spreading of infectious disease seeing they get
their daily dose.

It’s only a matter of time before we entertain this idea with
all other drugs.

In the Heroin Distribution in Switzerland, the analysis of the
Scientific Value of the Evaluation by Ernst Aeschbach, M.D., he
states in his conclusion:
“The assertions of positive results from the Swiss Heroin
Distribution Projects are inconsistent with the goal of
abstinence.”
“The improvements in the health, social and other conditions of
the addicts are welcome. However, the evaluation does not
establish that they are due to heroin distribution. The
decrease in delinquency among the participants as often heard
argument in support of the projects, is not borne out by the
statistics.
The data show that whatever decrease in criminal activity by
those participating in the Projects was not unique to them, but
were consistent with similar patterns observed in connection with
other community groups. The objective of incorporating the
“severely addicted” as participants in the Projects was not
achieved.”
“The unprofessional use of the media is illustrated by the
appearance of a Project Director on a television show in
Australia in which he blithely proclaimed success before the
Final Report of the evaluators has even been presented.”
“Switzerland would do well to return to established
methodologies and therapies for treating and eliminating
dependance on drugs.”

It is not always positive, positive as we are lead to believe.
I would like to see people with opposing view at a table putting
aside their agendas and simply do what is best and right for this
segment of our society that is addicted and hurting.

MARIJUANA:

Decriminalization, legalization and medicalization are all
viewed as harm reduction, in that they feel usage would be
reduced with decriminalization or legalization.

Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail article dated Feb 18,2002
states:
“Cannabis is being used as the Trojan Horse for the legalization
of all drugs, and the medicinal use of cannabinoids is being
used as the Trojan Horse for the legalization of marijuana.”

The medicinal use of marijuana is the tool that the harm
reductionist are using to open the flood gate to legalize all
drugs.

In the series: Reefer Madness, The Sequel (1 of 3) Maclean’s
Magazine, Author Julian Beltrame states:
“But Health Minister Allan Rock believes there is enough
anecdotal evidence to justify Canada’s experiment with
permitting AIDS, cancer patient and chronically ill patients to
use the drug.”

What other drug would be made available with anecdotal evidence.
It is to be noted that there are two synthetic THC pills called
Drabinal and Marinol that are available but patient refuse to
take it.

Federal Health Minister Anne McLellan in the Ottawa Citizen
article date the 20th of August 2002 states:
“she is uncomfortable with allowing people to smoke marijuana
for medical reasons and want it’s benefits to be scientifically
proven first.”
“Health authorities have a responsibility to prove the
scientific worth or any drug for medical treatment and that
should be no different for marijuana.” she said.
“Some of the doctors are concerned about the health effects of
smoking marijuana, and others fear they will be held liable if
they back patients’ request for federal exemptions allowing for
medicinal use of the drug.”
“The minister said she understands how some people believe
smoking marijuana helps them with their illnesses, but added ‘we
owe it to all Canadians’ to subject it to scientific scrutiny.”
“Ms. McLellan also expressed some unease with allowing marijuana
smoking at the same time as her department is responsible for
the largest single public awareness campaign in the country *
the campaign against cigarette smoking.”

It is to be noted that the same products that are in cigarettes
are in marijuana except marijuana doesn’t have nicotine nor does
cigarettes have THC. If one is a health hazzard, it is hard to
say they other isn’t.

In the Ontario Secondary School Survey of the three drugs used
in order of importance are as follows.

1997***Alcohol***Cigarettes***Marijuana

2001***Alcohol***Marijuana***Cigarettes

The survey from 1997 to 2001 indicates a reversal trend with
marijuana and cigarettes that has occurred because cigarettes
are now viewed as harmful, it is not morally acceptable to smoke
and the high cost of cigarettes along with the age restriction
make it harder to purchase, whereas marijuana is viewed as not
harmful, especially since we are talking about
decriminalization, legalization and the medicinal use, it is now
morally acceptable and it is easily available especially since
there is minimum enforcement.

Will usage decrease as suggested? The survey points in the
opposite direction.

CONCLUSION:

It is the constant discrepancies and anomalies that has one
question this philosophy. The lack of follow up and statistical
evidence that are needed in every other program is not required
here making one wonder if there is a hidden agenda.
We are told that abstinence is not cast aside but funding for treatment is being cut back.

There is a group home in Pembroke that will
shut it’s doors, the Detox Center in Ottawa will close in
October 2004 due to cuts in funding and the Rideauwood Addiction Treatment [Ottawa} institute cannot take any more patients due to funding issues.

Are they really interested in abstinence? At the end of the day,
we have to ask our self, did we take poverty, and drug use /
abuse and make them big business and now are afraid to question
it or are we facing too much resistance to review it and possibly
correct it if required?
We also have to ask if we are in line with the Canada’s Drug Strategy definition of harm reduction.
Has it reduced the harms associated with alcohol and drugs to
individuals, families and communities?
It will take someone or a group with a strong sense of internal fortitude to dare re-visit and make strong decisions in the area of harm reduction, that will certainly be challenged under the banner of Human Rights.
Will that day come or will we wait a couple of
decades and possibly see the likes of Vancouver’s East Hastings
ghetto become reality and visible in most communities across
this land. Maybe then we will realize the error of our
decisions.
Quick fixes have proven not to work yet I believe they
are at work under the guise of Harm Reduction.

Pay me now or
pay me later.

I am hoping this has created some discomfort whether you are for or against harm reduction, that this has made you question and
ponder some of these issues, if so then I’ve accomplished what I
set out to do.