I read Kevin Mills’ article (May 31, “Council continuing to consider needle exchange”) with interest. The “harm reduction” cronies have come into town to bash a few heads at the city council for the audacity of saying that harm reduction is bad public policy. Indeed our city is leading the way in excellent public policy by helping people out of addiction, not through giving out free needles, but through real help such as found in recovery centres.
It costs an addict only 49 cents for a needle and only 29 cents for a replacement needle tip. These can be purchased at the local pharmacy 24 hours a day without a prescription.
The argument that a free needle exchange is vital to public health and reducing the incidence of disease is ridiculous.
Addicts spend hundreds of dollars feeding their habit. It would cost them more time and money to get to a publicly funded needle exchange than it would cost to buy a clean needle at the local pharmacy.
Addiction can only be solved by dealing with the underlying issues within a person that leads them to self-medicate through drugs (legal and illegal).
The argument that a needle exchange is somehow a clean pathway to changed life is a fantasy and is not a scientific fact. Similarly the use of methadone and other so called harm reduction drugs only prolongs the suffering of addicts.
We have an army of people in this city ready to help addicts that genuinely want to stop taking drugs. The help addicts really need is not to enable their current lifestyle but to be challenged to break free.
Sometimes people have to hit bottom before they look up for help. We have chosen not to be a co-dependent city and this is the most loving decision we can make. There may be a little pain upfront during detox but many hundreds in our city can attest that it’s the first real step into a brighter tomorrow.
I urge our council to continue to reject the harm reduction philosophy. We applaud council’s efforts in getting detox centre funding for Abbotsford.
Tim Williams, Board Chairman, LIFE Recovery Association