Compassion necessary in drug response

Despite what some people think, no one wants to be homeless

To the editor,

Re: Most people frustrated by city’s drug problems, Letters, June 8.

Does it occur to the letter writer that the “damaged” minds and bodies might be caused by a need for money to acquire drugs? She obviously has no understanding of addiction (to doughnuts or running or crack).

I might suggest a bit of studying. Even if you do nothing but read a few memoirs you will rapidly learn that a month or even six months of treatment will not solve the problem if the reformed addict goes back to a life of poverty on the streets.

Personally, I think we need affordable housing in tandem with ongoing counselling and jobs.

The point of a safe injection site is to make people aware of the options and resources available to them (as well as saving lives in the short term). It is not a means of enabling addicts in their bad habits.

Despite what some people think, no one wants to be homeless on the streets shoplifting, holding up gas bars, sick, dirty, cold and hopeless. Oh so tempting to your average 16-year-old!

So shall we ship all the addicts to Nanoose? How about Port Alberni? Best of all, a large barge out in the Salish Sea? That way we can protect our children and grandparents from their nasty presence. If it sinks, we will be freed from having to exercise any compassion or understanding.

Beth Pardey, Nanaimo

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