No Safe Injection Sites in Toronto and Vancouver
Below are some thoughts to help push Toronto into a different direction, away from using Safe Injection Sites for drug users. The last thing this city needs is the expansion of the drug class. That is exactly what will happen, and if you have ever seen how these sites work in other cities, you would quickly put your foot down, commanding our great leadership in Toronto to put a stop to the attempts by Dr. David McKeown to bring more needles to our city.
Safe Injection Sites? Just think about that phrase for a moment. What does that mean to you? If you have a personal connection to drugs, it resonates for many reasons. Perhaps you were once a user, and overcame the addiction. Maybe a close friend of yours went down the wrong path and became consumed with drugs. In my situation, I had a sister that was an addict, then became clean for 7 years, only to succumb to the pulsation for drugs within a few short months of going back. To me, Heroin and Crack are the evil of society (many more types now), and we cannot support their use through safe injection sites. In Toronto, the conversation is starting up, and Dr. David McKeown is leading the charge for these sites to be present. What drug users need in Toronto is a bit of encouragement, a job, and a feeling of self-worth. Look at the decay of East Hastings in Vancouver – it is disgusting to take the bus through some parts of that city. Needle sites prolong an issue that is greater than the spread of disease.
On my watch, if I were the ‘Chief of Fighting Drugs’, anyone caught with harsh drugs, would be shipped up north to a working retreat. They would become sales people on the phones, helping to sell products from our city to other countries or cities. Non of this crap about injecting safely would exist for me. It is a race to freedom of drugs, not a race to aiding a habit for thousands of people. For every time you get caught, you are sent up north to work. You learn the skills needed be a contributor and because you are generating income, the operation does not rely on city funding. It is a private entity that has a contract with the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario. The time has come end the consistency of drugs, with a new face to battle against them. I everyone knew the consequences, while having a reason to not take drugs, our society would be much more inclined to see an addict through to recovery. Nobody wants to deal with someone else’s problems, and today, nobody has to time to deal with the problems of the world.
Opening Doors for Drug Dealers?
I have personally been impacted by drugs, with our family seeing the loss of life because of drugs. She was my sister, and although I did not get the chance be with her during her last days as a user, I can try to help now by pushing for change. The resentment my sister had for her life ran deep. One day she was living as a mother, the next she was dead to the world, except to her dealers. Don’t be fooled, that is what we are dealing with here. A user is dead to society, with no contributions that benefit another person. I am confident that my sister would have had more success if she was taken to a far away place that would allow her to tap into her skills and share them with the world. She was once clean for 7 years, but the reminders kept popping back into her head, until eventually, she succumbed to the desire to getting high one last time. She died a few weeks later. It is the constant reminders of an injection site that take my head for spin. Why would we condone these sites as if we condone their dealer? Do we not have police officers following dealers’ every move in order to find out who is the supplier beyond them? Are we not trying to win against drugs anymore? These sites go too far. and actually cultivate the user, creating a nest for the dealer.
As Toronto becomes more expensive to live in, we find more people falling to the ills of bills and stress. Those issues push people to use harsh drugs. Some will try to balance work life and drugs, but that cannot last. By droves, people will lose their ability to maintain addiction and their job. How does the question become let’s allow them to take more drugs freely, rather than get them back on their feet? We need to fight the cycle of addiction. If we give safe injection sites to users, we are agreeing with their lifestyle. Toronto cannot afford to have these sites. In a few years, the drug users will run the streets around the facilities, and more people will die in the long run. They may not die from a heroin overdose on the site, but they will surely die from other health related issues down the line.
Questions for Dr. David McKeown
We also have to ask ourselves what the cost is to our city. A city that is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, how do we plan to finance something like this? The affect on the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal government is absurdly high. I have 5 questions for Dr. David McKeown to answer:
- How do these addicts pay for their drugs?
- What revenue generating streams come from these injection sites?
- How much crime will these injection sites bring to areas?
- What percentage of users are using social welfare cheques for drugs?
- How many users of the site eventually become clean?
If the answer to number 5 is less than 10%, then I feel there is no point in having these sites exist. The Municipal degradation will far outweigh the benefit of a small amount of people using clean needles. If we are trying to tackle the issue of AIDS/HIV among drug users, then we need to lower the amount of drug use, not try to herd people into a facility. If it is not from the needle, it will be from prostitution in order to pay for the drugs. What we need is a concrete solution to help people heal from their reasons for using. It is not about sending someone to prison, or facilitating their habit. We have to inject them into work, and empower people to be better citizens.
10 Step Plan to Healing People
Assuming we stop throwing people in jail for drug use, there are ways for us to help squash drug use from heavy users. I have seen personally that a taste of life and responsibility can rehabilitate a user. Let’s give that opportunity to everyone in need. Instead of injection sites in downtown Toronto, let’s take the city out of the equation until users can prove that they can handle the city again. Compassion can take other forms than just opening the doors to allow rampant drug use. My plan would push for change, not abetting.
Here is a 10 point plan to help eradicate drug use in our Toronto:
- Buy land 2 hours north of the city
- Build 20 tiny homes
- Build an office space
- Take customer service calls and sales calls for Toronto companies
- Pay each worker
- Open an education centre for attendees to develop new skills
- Offer certificates and degrees to them
- 1 year course/work load
- Become a part of the recruitment program
- Once they are hired for a job in the city, they can return
My plan brings opportunity to this city, instead of decay. I took my family to Vancouver and was horrified by what we saw when our bus turned onto East Hastings. It is the most vile looking site I have seen in a city. There are no spots like that in Toronto, but I fear we will lead to that with moves like this. The theft in Vancouver is disturbingly high! Auto theft has doubled in the last 2 years, and it will only get worse. Junkies tend to own the streets in Vancouver. I was saddened by the amount of sunken faces, dark bags under peoples eyes, and the persistent viewership of people shooting up. People have flocked to Vancouver for its drug culture, and now there are many places that you do not want to be caught in. I will not allow this city to fall into that tailspin. We need more from our citizens. They owe us a contribution and nobody deserves to have a handout if they do not take the opportunities to succeed, which exist everywhere. Stand with me on this fight to keep our streets as clean as can be. Can you imagine how many people would descend on our city if we made this change? Don’t let that happen.