Opened in June of 2003, Insite provides drug users with a safe and sterile place to inject drugs. This safe injection site is the only one of its kind in Canada and gives drug users access to medical attention, if they need it, and also other services, such as, peer support and referrals to treatment services. When Insite first opened its doors, it drew much controversy from the public, and now 5 years later Federal Health Minister, Tony Clement, is taking a jab at doctors who support this service by questioning their ethics.
The Suburban Don believes the Federal Health Minister is a complete idiot by issuing this statement! Supporting Insite is not unethical as doctors are looking out for the best interest of those in need of care, the drug users. The Health Minister should be praising those running Insite because it is cleaning up the streets of dirty needles, while at the same time providing care for those who need it. If Insite was not in place, these drug users would still be injecting themselves behind some alley where they could overdose without anyone finding them before its too late.
For those who claim that Insite is encouraging drug use need to look beyond injection services provided at Insite as clients are offered referrals for treatments if they do wish to take them. By giving them a safe environment to inject themselves, drug users who do want to change for the better also have an opportunity to receive treatment as staff at Insite is on premises for the clients. Is it unethical to help those in need Mr. Clement?
Who is going to help out the less privileged, if any attempts made are shot down by bureaucrats? Insite may not be the definite solution, but it sure as hell is a step in the right direction. It shows that the city is headed in the right path to help those in need of help, rather than ignoring the problems this city has. Vancouver is a world class city in the mind of the Suburban Don, however more can be done in the DTES rather than ignoring the problems and waiting for them to disappear magically.
(photo courtesy of www.vch.ca/sis/)