LETTER – Less enablement, more treatment needed on drug abuse

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

We have a civic election coming up and I hope that the below topic will be forefront.

B.C.’s harm reduction started in the late 1980s. Needle exchanges, safe injection sites, drug safety testing, naloxone kits and now decriminalization, a push for de-stigmatization and a safe supply.

In addition, there has been increased charitable/social services providing support. All well intentioned and some successes. But look at the results: more drug usage, more OD’s, more deaths, and an increased demand by addicts for even stronger drugs which dealers are happy to provide.

Meanwhile, more public spending, more crime, more homelessness, more mental/physical health issues, overburdened ambulances, and hospital emergency services and more urban blight and decay.

The last 30+ years has been more about enablement than actual treatment and reduced drug abuse. It has had the exact opposite of the campaign against cigarette smoking, which led to reduction in usage since its inception.

If these drug abusers/addicts aren’t getting the message, then too bad, so sad. They will continue to die or descend into the black hole of misery of drug use. The touchy feely approach of the last 30+ years has pretty much failed. Rehabilitation, treatment, and preventable education is the only way out, not more enablement.

Over the last five years, cigarette smoking rates have fallen:

·         23 percent among adults, from 17.8 percent in 2013.

·         44 percent among youth, from 15.7 percent in 2013.

There was a total of 29,052 apparent opioid toxicity deaths between January 2016 and December 2021.

In closing, drug addiction, homelessness and crime rate have a direct relationship. Please note, I am talking about abuse/addiction, not use.


About Mel Rothenburger (9648 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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