Possible solutions to opioid crisis and beyond. Stop feeling sorry for addicts and do something.

Dear Editor,

Present-day medical/city/provincial/state authorities devised programs where by addicts are given clean opioid-drugs, as an alternative to the addicts’ struggle to acquire their drug of choice no matter the source. Drugs that do not have toxic pharmaceuticals in them seems a good choice. So it seemed. Problem: Addicts often take these meds from the authorities and sell them on the black market as a source of income and to feed their habits.

1. Medical professionals have tried to string out their patients with lower doses of the drug over time.

2. Injection sites, with clean drug paraphernalia provided free, as to a place to shoot up with medical supervision.

3. Dry out cells provided to those willing, but most return to their addiction.

4. Legalizing weed, vaping and possession of small amounts of illegal drugs.

When will we be able to be honest with ourselves, and admit there really is only one way to end this drug pandemic? Do our elected officials not realize they are looking more and more like the cartels of Latin America? Drug dealers and drug pushers. None of these officials have seen people shoot up, with lines on their arms and between their toes. They have not witnessed horrid crimes committed by addicts to pay for the addicts’ needs.

A bunch of pampered people, feeling sorry for others, but without the belly to make the appropriate choices to save many lives.

What can be done. Nay, what needs to be done: Certain civil liberties need to be suspended at particular times when needed. A determination needs to be made declaring addiction as a form of mental illness that can lead to suicide and death. Make addiction not just an illness, but to continue as an addict is also a crime punishable by forced treatment.

Addicts usually will not help themselves, but rather will do everything possible to feed their habit. Addiction is a severe mental illness that can be seen as a precursor to suicide/self destruction. I know, harsh words especially to those who love and care for the addict, but there really is no other way. Either the police have to have the authority and ability to pick up and detain these people, or those that love them should be able to have them institutionalized within facilities whose whole job it is to treat these individuals over a set period of time up to 6 months. Breaking an addiction and assisting the addicted will take time and effort to meet their varied needs.

Decision: Treating addiction should be either the government’s job or a private affair. One or the other.

After all people die all the time. Perhaps we need to decide simply how they are to die and whether we as a society should have the ability to legally save a life through force, or live and let them die. A gambler will continue gambling until they are forced to stop. So too the addict. Look at Hastings in Vancouver! City blocks full of homeless and addicts forever growing in numbers.

Force addicts to be saved, a life returned to an accepting society. This drug pandemic will continue and grow just as casino commercials shower our youth with potential wealth opportunities, developing their addictions. End casino advertisements on TV and radio, and respect the potential and existing addicts among us. Legalized weed and vaping is creating new and long-lasting problems within our communities. The spread of opioids is the problem, not just those contaminated with toxins. Many drugs are poison to the body. The only thing you should be inhaling is the air around us. I cannot believe I am saying this, but Nancy Reagan was right when she said, “Just say no to drugs.”

Steven Kaszab

The Daily Herald

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