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Old 09-17-2003, 04:03 PM   #46
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No, we don't want to legislate heroin. That's a bad idea. (I assume more sarcasm, right?)
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Old 09-17-2003, 04:09 PM   #47
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Originally posted by MrBrau1
The state should just give them the drugs. Since these people don't have jobs, they probably steal or sell themselves to pay for the drugs, which puts the public at risk.
Actually, this is an interesting question. Part of the argument to decriminalize controlled substances is the reduction in crime.
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Old 09-17-2003, 04:41 PM   #48
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I'm just following the logic behind the safe injection area. It comes off a sarcastic becuse of where that logic brings you in the end. Keep the junkie and public safe.
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Old 09-17-2003, 05:39 PM   #49
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People need to know that this problem didn't just start recently, it's been going on for a long time primarily they say because Vancouver has been North America's 3rd largest port city which is where most of these drugs get into the continent. Tons of resources have been tried and thrown at these people, everything from arresting them to giving them alternatives via the volunteers from the Salvation Army to detox's and rehabs to soup kitchens which have people to talk to them. None of this has been affective enough to change most of them.

People hear about this bad situation here for so long that we have become compassionate to this issue and thats why there is no outcry about the safe injection site. It's a very small place, the addict walks in sits in a seat where he has a small bowl that has a clean needle and fresh water in it to use. A health care worker observes the person to make sure everything is going smoothly. Then when the person is finished he goes to another room where he can 'chill' out, he also has the chance to talk to workers who are trained in helping these people to get off the drugs or other forms of help. I think in a place like this where they feel they are given some dignity they may choose to seek help. This is a safe inection site not a rehab or detox. The point of this place is to slow down the spreading of diseases.

I talk to these people sometimes because I like to go to a bar called the Cambie which is in the heart of this area and while they made a bad decision at some point by getting hooked they still have a story to tell when you start talking to them. You can tell they want to get better but what people need to know about heroin is that when they come off of it is very painful but only lasts for about 3-5 days of withdrawl then they are back to normal and because it only takes a few days to withdraw that ends up making it so easy to do it again cause you know in your head that it's not that long to withdraw. The reason they stay on this stuff is because they have some very heavy pain in their hearts, some have been prostitutes and when you do that you can't shake that out of your head so in order to forget your problems you take this stuff cause you know you can just drift away for a little while. For others their families have disowned them and they basically have no families and the only friends they have are felloow addicts some of which die on a regular basis. It's Vancouvers dirty little secret and I have a good feeling about this because honestly I can't think of any other solution for these folks which is the sad part.

I was one of those people who used think I could change the world but now I know that you can't really change other people, you can just show them compassion and show them that you do respect and care for them and then maybe they can see the light and break free.
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Old 09-17-2003, 05:54 PM   #50
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Originally posted by Basstrap


that is a very disturbing and moving description. I may be moving to Vancouver in a year, as well...would almost make me second guess that move!!
No don't second guess the move there is far more good than bad here, just be aware of the area where the addicts are because it's not good to be there very much but like Michael side it's a tiny part of downtown Vancouver. One thing I have to say about Vancouver well BC for that matter IS THAT IT RULES !!! It has an energy all it's own and the places to see like the beaches and mountains and Ocean is absolutely stunning. It's amazing the diverse amount of cultures here and the variety scenery, that combination makes BC into a world of it's own. So come on down damitt !
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:25 PM   #51
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Well, I decided to stop trying to figure this out and went to the only person I know who has been there and done that..my mom. She was a 25+ year addict and the basic questions I posed to her were:

1) What do you think of place where addicts can get a clean needle and place to inject

2) Would your own drug use have increased or decreased had a place like this been available?

3) Will a place like this do anything to stop the criminal activity involved in heroin use

Here are her answers.

Quote:
Well, this is an interesting question. During all of the debate over needle exchange programs and such, I always felt the answer would be to just sell syringes to anyone who wanted them. No one is going to stop using drugs, especially heroin, because there are no clean needles, they will just use dirty ones. You can buy a pack of 10 new syringes for about $3. So why not just sell them. I think everyone who uses IV drugs would flock to buy new ones. No one enjoys poking themselves with old dirty dull needles, or sharing needles.

But when you are addicted you will do whatever it takes to get the drug in your system.

I don't know about supplying a place to inject drugs. That is just going to have a whole bunch of dope fiends hanging around dealing drugs and all that goes with it.

No one is going to use more just because there are clean needles available.

I can't believe it never occured to the powers that be to just sell them syringes at the drugstore. They control the sale so tightly, you would think it was the drug itself they were selling.

Hope this gives some insight. It's just my opinion, but having lived it for so long, this just always seemed like a logical thing to do.
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:54 PM   #52
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Yes, but those dope fiends are there anyway, only spread throughout that entire section of the Eastside for all--the general public included--to come into contact. Not having the site will not change that. Selling clean syringes might work, but how would you sell them to everyone and regulate it? One convenient place where users know about seems more efficient....and given the benefits of having health care workers, also seems more reliable.
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Old 09-17-2003, 08:10 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrBrau1
I'm just following the logic behind the safe injection area. It comes off a sarcastic becuse of where that logic brings you in the end. Keep the junkie and public safe.
That logic, as you put it, does not necessarily bring you there in the end. You're not looking at all the variables, and forgetting the context of the situation. Remember that the drug use is happening, and shall continue to happen, regardless. Also remember disease is spreading. These people have no hope, and are dying. They are using dirty water, dirty needles, and each are on the road to nowhere...fast. We can't afford to look at things in a vacuum setting...using principles that don't have context. It's a little more complex. This measure isn't condoning drug use. The aim is to use what we have to work with, without changing the laws. It's no secret why it's hugely supported by the public. They know the situation. It's attempting to alleviate a very bad situation from a public health perspective by trying to contain the problem. It's not a perfect solution that will bring a perfect result. But if you can think of one, I'm listening...
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:20 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
Yes, but those dope fiends are there anyway, only spread throughout that entire section of the Eastside for all--the general public included--to come into contact. Not having the site will not change that. Selling clean syringes might work, but how would you sell them to everyone and regulate it? One convenient place where users know about seems more efficient....and given the benefits of having health care workers, also seems more reliable.
She's my mom and I love her but I totally disagree with her on selling the needles. If people are stealing to support their habits, they aren't going to be able to pay for needles either.

I mainly just wanted the opinion of someone who has lived the life.
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:58 AM   #55
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Bono's American Wife -

Thank-you for expressing your mum's opinion. It's always interesting to get a perspective like that.
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Old 09-18-2003, 10:23 AM   #56
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If the gvt made the drug available to the user it would allow the regulation of the drug, resulting in less deaths due to bad product. These injection sites could provide clean sanitary products and places for the junkies to shoot-up. In essense the gvt would be regulating their habit. Here is your clean heroin, so you don't have to steal or kill to buy it yourself. Here is a safe place to sit down and shoot up, with plenty of clean utensils.
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:27 AM   #57
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so i've been thinkin' alot about this one lately and came up with a proposal of my own.

---establish government run rehab centers around the nation. first time drug offenders will be sent to these rehab centers instead of prison. the centers will be sort of like the minimum security federal pen's we have here in the US... not a prison by any sense of the imagination, but ya' still can't leave.
---the person is sentanced to a minimum 6 months in this rehab center, with drug testing 2 times a week in order to make sure visitors don't smuggle drugs in, which is an obvious problem in the prison system in both the US and Canada.
---After the person has been clean for 6 months, he is evaluated by the doctors, and released on a house arrest program. they get one of those human "lojac" things on their ankles for a year after release.
---for the first 2 months, the addict has to check in and be drug tested once a week.
---the next 4 months, once every 2 weeks.
---the next 6 months, once a month. after this full year is up, they get the "lojac" thing taken off their ankle.
---in the second year, once every 3 months.
---third year, once every 6 months.
---fourth year, once. after the 4 years is up, they're evaluated once again, and then they're off the program, but still on probation for 5 years.
---at any time, if they fall back in to drug use, they can voluntary readmit themselves to the program without penalty.
---if they are arrested with drugs on their person while on the outside, they are now sent to prison to serve whatever the sentance for that possession may be, and upon release from prison, are sent back to the rehab center program.
---first time offenders can voluntarily admit themselves to the program before being arrested without facing any legal penalty.
---for those who do turn themselves in the first time, if they are arrested for posession after completing the program, they are waived from the jail time and are sent straight to the rehab center. from there on out, they no longer get any preferential treatment... meaning if they're arrested again upon completion of the program a second time, they are sent to prison.
---manditory minimum sentances are given for drug dealers as a deterant. most dealers, and users as well, start with "gateway drugs," like pot or ecstasy. a minimum sentance of 2 years in jail for dealing these small time drugs would keep many younger dealers from starting in the first place.
---Create a national drug-dealer database, similar to the sex-offender database. A person must regester in this database if they are convicted of dealing drugs. This database is given to all law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. When a person moves in to a new apartment/house, etc., their info is sent through the database, giving local law enforcement agencies a "heads up" that a convicted drug dealer has moved into the area.
---The database will have a rank system based upon the severity of the crime. Some punk kid who was sellin' small amounts of pot out of his college dorm room would be listed as a "minor risk," while Tony Montana would get a "severe risk" on his chart.
---Continue work to shore up the ports, not only to stop drug imports, but for the obvioius reason of national security.


So there's my proposal. It'll help get users and dealers off the streets, while giving those who are addicted a chance to recover, while not just letting them go unaccountable for their actions. The fewer users and dealers on the street, the fewer people using dirty needles, the less likely to spread disease.
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:04 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
so i've been thinkin' alot about this one lately and came up with a proposal of my own.

---establish government run rehab centers around the nation. first time drug offenders will be sent to these rehab centers instead of prison. the centers will be sort of like the minimum security federal pen's we have here in the US... not a prison by any sense of the imagination, but ya' still can't leave.
---the person is sentanced to a minimum 6 months in this rehab center, with drug testing 2 times a week in order to make sure visitors don't smuggle drugs in, which is an obvious problem in the prison system in both the US and Canada.
---After the person has been clean for 6 months, he is evaluated by the doctors, and released on a house arrest program. they get one of those human "lojac" things on their ankles for a year after release.
---for the first 2 months, the addict has to check in and be drug tested once a week.
---the next 4 months, once every 2 weeks.
---the next 6 months, once a month. after this full year is up, they get the "lojac" thing taken off their ankle.
---in the second year, once every 3 months.
---third year, once every 6 months.
---fourth year, once. after the 4 years is up, they're evaluated once again, and then they're off the program, but still on probation for 5 years.
---at any time, if they fall back in to drug use, they can voluntary readmit themselves to the program without penalty.
---if they are arrested with drugs on their person while on the outside, they are now sent to prison to serve whatever the sentance for that possession may be, and upon release from prison, are sent back to the rehab center program.
---first time offenders can voluntarily admit themselves to the program before being arrested without facing any legal penalty.
---for those who do turn themselves in the first time, if they are arrested for posession after completing the program, they are waived from the jail time and are sent straight to the rehab center. from there on out, they no longer get any preferential treatment... meaning if they're arrested again upon completion of the program a second time, they are sent to prison.
---manditory minimum sentances are given for drug dealers as a deterant. most dealers, and users as well, start with "gateway drugs," like pot or ecstasy. a minimum sentance of 2 years in jail for dealing these small time drugs would keep many younger dealers from starting in the first place.
---Create a national drug-dealer database, similar to the sex-offender database. A person must regester in this database if they are convicted of dealing drugs. This database is given to all law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. When a person moves in to a new apartment/house, etc., their info is sent through the database, giving local law enforcement agencies a "heads up" that a convicted drug dealer has moved into the area.
---The database will have a rank system based upon the severity of the crime. Some punk kid who was sellin' small amounts of pot out of his college dorm room would be listed as a "minor risk," while Tony Montana would get a "severe risk" on his chart.
---Continue work to shore up the ports, not only to stop drug imports, but for the obvioius reason of national security.


So there's my proposal. It'll help get users and dealers off the streets, while giving those who are addicted a chance to recover, while not just letting them go unaccountable for their actions. The fewer users and dealers on the street, the fewer people using dirty needles, the less likely to spread disease.
Headache,

You seem obsessed with making these people pay for their "crime" of drug addiction. I think having such a dependancy, being impoverished, shunned by society is probaby enough "payment".

National rehab centres sounds good I suppose. I can't see anything wrong that. But your solution is one dimensional. It is still a band-aid. It does nothing to fix systemic poverty that exists in America and Canada and is the cause of most drug use. How on earth can someone be on house arrest if they have no house? Or how can you send someone back to an abusive parent and expect them to not to turn back to drugs? Drug use is a symptom of a larger problem.

You have not addressed this issue in any of your posts.
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:13 PM   #59
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So the addict has no responsibility in this? They're just helpless people, using drugs to escape abusive parents, or the misery of their unrealized dreams? If they really have no choice in the matter there is NOTHING you can do to help them. Outcome is predetermined.
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:33 PM   #60
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thank you MrBrau. last i checked, drug use IS a crime. people who use hardship in their life as an excuse to use drugs... well... it's nothing more than an excuse. there are many homeless out there who do not do drugs. there are many who have come from places of abuse who do not do drugs. there are many who are children of abusers who do not use drugs. the majority of the people in the united states and canada do not use drugs.

i don't connect poverty to drug use, because there is no connection. it is a poor excuse. drug users come from all ranges of wealth, from the quote-unquote "top 1%" right down to those below the poverty line. in many cases, junkies who are homeless often got that way because they were junkies. if drug use is the result of systematic poverty, as you put it, then how do you explain the numerous celebrities and athletes with drug problems? what is their issue?

You seem obsessed with narrowing the focus of drug abuse to just the impoverished and the "shunned." But the pandemic of drug use is a problem that crosses all barriers as far as wealth, race, gender, religion and sexual preference. We've seen with AIDS/HIV that narrowing the focus to one select group can be very dangerous and doesn't tackle the entire problem.

I understand that it's an addiction, but it is most deffinetly also a crime. So while I support giving drug addicts some sort of way to kick their habbit, but there has to be some sort of punishment, wether it be for the homeless or the extremely wealthy.

I go back to my main point. Who puts the first needle to vein? Who snorts the first line of blow? Who smokes the first doobie? It may be an addiction after you start, but it's a personal decision the first time. Every person has free will. And every person, no matter what wealth class they might be in, can decide NOT to take drugs.
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