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Free Heroin for Canadians

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An interesting item in the news recently caught my attention. The Canadian government plans to introduce a trial program of handing out free heroin to addicts in a bid to try and stop them from further destroying their lives through prostitution and theft to feed their addiction. This program will mainly be tried in Vancouver’s notorious east side where pimps, prostitutes, pushers and users number in the thousands.

It has gotten so bad there apparently you can’t walk down an alley without tripping over someone lying on the ground with a needle in their arm. Other cities like Montreal and Toronto could be next. Under a clinical trial Health Canada will give approximately 200 heroin users a prescription for pharmaceutical grade smack for about a year. It is hoped that the users will be freed from their daily need to find cash to feed their habit and find better ways to improve their lives. Only hardcore users that have been poking themselves for over five years will be accepted.

Now there are different ways of looking at drug problems in society. The two main ones are:-

1. Zero tolerance: tough laws, tough crackdowns and tough jail sentences
Or
2. Harm reduction: people are going to do what they want; we might as well try to help them do it safely so they don’t kill themselves or others in the process.

My preference is for the latter. Needle exchange programs & safe houses to shoot up in are classic examples of harm reduction programs already set up in various countries around the world. Some argue this is just excusing the behavior of addicts and encouraging them. Others say as stated above, people are going to do what they want no matter what, so let’s try to help them in a different way than locking them up.

Let’s take needle exchange for example… would you rather addicts share dirty needles and further the spread of H.I.V. throughout the population?

I myself have benefited from harm reduction. When I was in my experimental drug phase, I was particularly in love with ecstasy. One organization which practices ecstasy related HR is Dance Safe, which I found to be of great use in wading through street myth to actual factual information about the drug. They even go to great lengths to provide pill testing information and test kits to users of MDMA so they can avoid adulterated pills and their possible serious effects.

But back to the heroin thing… I’m wondering if handing out free H is going too far with harm reduction? Will there be the support programs in place to try and guide these users off the stuff they are getting for free? Will getting it so easily and at such high quality make it harder to stop? Is a year trial program even long enough to get these hardcore users off something so terribly gripping? The police are fully on board with this undertaking and that makes me wonder right there about this experiment. The cops are usually never on board unless it involves the zero tolerance approach.

Note that petty crimes in Vancouver are rampant. Drug-related prostitution is epidemic and it has one of the highest rates of car theft in North America. The cops may be on board due to the pressure of Mr. & Mrs. John Q getting sick of getting their beamers stolen. Similar hand out trials have been tried in Switzerland and have shown to effect a drop in related crimes. Successful, they are now permanent fixtures of social programs there.

Will this work in Canada? It is yet to be seen. Let me know when they start handing out free Es.

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About Mike G

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Here are some ASINs for free: 0802132952 (Naked Lunch); 0915179105 (Psychedelic Chemistry).

    Check ‘em out, they’re appropriate to the topic.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Canada is the Western Hemisphere’s Netherlands. Anything goes. Free heroin? Free medical? Terrorists welcomed with open arms? Queer Marriage?

    I say Alberta secedes and joins the US. Quebec becomes its own nation-state. Same with Nunavut. And the rest can be renamed the United Socialist States of Canada (USSC).

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Very interesting concept the Canadians are giving a run. Hope it works. Vancouver BC, being a couple hours up the road from me (Seattle), does have a bit of a problem and are being very progressive in possible solutions.

    Now, if the drug being given out was cocaine, that is a different story. The effect of cocaine on the mind is way too far out. It is not a physically addicting drug. It is all in the sick mind.

    Heroin, all that is really being done is keeping addicts from getting sick. And providing access to help. The physical addiction is the problem with heroin.

    Anyway, I’ll just keep an eye on the local news to see if the program is working. Kudos if it does.

    peaceloveguidance

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “if the drug being given out was cocaine, that is a different story. The effect of cocaine on the mind is way too far out. It is not a physically addicting drug.” [emphasis mine]

    Uh, bullshit.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    hhhmmm…interesting RJ. Actually, cocaine works its way out of your system in 72 hours, for the most part. Pretty much, your body lets it go with no complaint. Sure there are physical side effects. But none of which demand your body to have it in you.

    Alchohol and heroin. A late stage alchoholic will die if not ingesting the stuff. Seen it happen alot. Heroin, start puking and wreching it you don’t get a dose.

    Cocaine, if you don’t do it, your body won’t complain, except for the fact you did some. Have a brain scan, then go call yourself ‘black brain’. You’ll see if you have done a ton of cocaine.

    Cocaine is not a physically addicting drug. It messes up your body to a horrible degree. But never does your body get to the point of NEEDING it, like air and water. It is a VERY powerful psychologically addicting drug.

    That is the difference…

    peaceloveguidance

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “cocaine works its way out of your system in 72 hours”

    Alcohol works its way out in 24 hours.

    So, there are no alcoholics?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Coke is the illicit drug that kills the most Americans.

    Crack is a form of coke, and is highly addictive.

  • http://i-manila jgg

    Giving out free “H” is not a solution but will be a bigger problem. They need to cure them not supply them. It definitely is not a cure. Maybe whoever suggesed this program is a “H” user already and can’t afford the stuff.

    I would go for tougher laws and jail terms to discourage sellers and buyers.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    RJ, the rub here is the definition ‘physically addicting’ and ‘phychological addiction’. Two different things, each very powerful.

    Crack is the most addicting drug there is. Officially, it’s psychotropic effects are ten to the third power (1000) times more powerful than LSD. This is statements from top noted neurologists. One toke of crack and you become a person you would not like.

    Physical addiction (opiates and alchohol) your actual physical body builds a dependence on these substances. I have seen many die from not putting alchohol in the body. Heroin doesn’t kill you (except overdose) when addicted and not using, you just become horribly sick for days.

    Supply them just might be steps toward a cure. All it really is is an extended methadone program. Yeah, how many junkies want to move to Vancouver now?

    Cocaine is an evil drug I wouldn’t mind getting out of society. It is a drug that is all in the mind. The most hardcore addict’s body does not say do the drug (cocaine). It is something completely in the mind. That is the difference.

    Personally, I would like to see sentencing of lower level dealers reduced if they can lead them to the bigger sources. Snitch, sure. Get the big boys out of our country. It is killer on our economy to have cash sucked out of our country by drug lords and just be given to Columbia or Peru.

    Tougher laws work on psychological addiction. Physical addiction is a different story. Vancouver is exploring answers. Good for them. Learn the difference.

    RJ, I don’t think you quite understand the picture. Yeah, alchohol is out of your body in 24 hours. Then your body screems for more. If it doesn’t get it, you can die, easily if a late stage drinker.

    peaceloveguidance.

  • wootles!

    legalize weed!! but cocaine and heroine and hard drugs of that nature that lead to addiction, I believe, should be outlawed, as they are. This program will end up declogging many streets with heroin addicts and ultimately help the people around and in those areas, as exposure is minimalized. Also, putting addicts in jail is just sweeping them aside to the agenda of the government, and I don’t think that is a very acceptable thing to do. Try to help people, not chain them up.

  • user3305

    I TRY ALMOST EVERY DRUG I LOVE X AND I FIND EVEN A GREATER LOVE FOR COKE. I HAVE A VERY ADDICTIVE PERSONALITY, ANYTHING I HAVE LONG ENOUGH I DEVELOPE A NEED FOR. I PLAN ON TRYING HEROIN THIS FRIDAY, JUST TO TRY. I KNOW IT THE DUMBEST THING EVER, BUT I STILL WANT TO TRY IT. DO YOU THINK I CAN HANDLE IT ONCE?

    NO E-MAIL ADDRESS POST REPLY

  • Student

    i love heroine! heroin is my best friend!!! :)

  • The Obnoxious American

    Heroin doesn’t kill people, dying does…

    Really, this is the answer. Legalize everything, let people choose. But make sure they have the details around what they are getting into. Take X drug and these are the effects. Sober, honest, reliable information without the “Eve’s apple” syndrome.

    I think over time, it would seem weird to most people to take drugs, as opposed to how it’s weird these days to be straight. Honestly and access will take the very thing that attracks people to drugs away. Namely mystery and intrigue.