kirsten- an insight on insite
Vancouver was one of the first cities in Canada to start condoning safe injection sites for drug use. This is a controversial that has brought many discussions about the nature of these projects. The hope behind these safe injection sites is to decrease the number of overdoses in the area, and provide a clean and therefor safer environment for drug users. There have been many skeptics to this idea. One opinion expressed in thelinknewspaper.ca claims that the project is going to
“make the vehicle for drug abuse easier to access”
and cost cities too much to maintain. The Insite supervised injection site costs Vancouver just under $3 million annually to pay for clean supplies and worker pay. I decided to look further into the arguments of the movement apposing the Insite project and ones like it all across Canada.
Premise 1: taking narcotics such as heroin and methamphetamine is an irresponsible and dangerous act.
True: Heroin is a hard drug that is often injected through needles. It creates a reaction in the human brain that releases dopamine and creates feelings of pleasure. This is a dangerous drug that has long term effects on mental and physical states, and users face a high risk of overdose.http://healthycanadians.gc.ca
Premise 2: supervised injection sites are a place open to the public designed for drug users to inject narcotics into their bodies.
True: Safe injection sites are open to anyone who may want a place to use needles or would like help with their drug use.
Conclusion: by cities supporting these sites, they are encouraging the use of hard drugs by making the narcotics easier and more accessible to the public.
Not valid: there is a flaw in the link between the two premises and the conclusion. There is often a misconception of the second premise where people will mistake the support for people on drugs as supporting the action of taking narcotics. These are two very different things, as supporting drug users is ensuring that people are safe while they are high, and trying to find ways to allow the ill to become strong and well once again. Many of these sites also provide help for people who struggle with mental illness and HIV/AIDS. By implementing theses places, the cities are not condoning to illegal drug use, but instead providing a place for those who are already struggling with addiction and abuse.
“Insite is the first rung on the ladder from chronic drug addiction to possible recovery”
The argument against these establishments may seem easy to support as it is hard to believe that heavy drug users are willing to use these facilities. Many of the arguments question whether or not it is worth our Canadian tax dollars to fund these establishments if they may or may not even be making improvements. Fortunately, there are facts produced by Insite that show the program is doing good things for the people who access the facility. In 2015 alone there were 263,713 visits to the site by 6,532 unique individuals with an average of 722 visits per day with approximately 440 of those visits to the injection room. In the span of a year there were 5,359 clinical treatment interventions. This means over five thousand lives were saved thanks to this program in a single year. By supporting and funding programs like this one, our city is creating a safe environment for those who are suffering and our help the most.
For more information and statistics please visit http://www.vch.ca/your-health/health-topics/supervised-injection/