January 19th, 2020

Supervised consumption site still a hot topic

By Letter to the Editor on September 11, 2019.

It seems that the community is still talking about the supervised consumption site, whether we should have it and if we do where it should be located.

Whether we should have the site comes down to the harm reduction versus the abstinence model. To my mind we have been trying the the abstinence model for at least a century with limited success. Prohibition stands out in one’s mind. Of course different things work for different people.

The location of the site is another problem. People don’t want it close to their businesses, children or vulnerable populations. Even though people taking drugs are in all income levels and in all areas of the city just like the people they want to protect.

Before we got the recovery centre a few years ago people detoxed at the hospital or at home. I wonder if there was ever such a fuss about where to put the hospital. After all we are talking about a medical program for our community members, not where our social dollars should be spent.

I know that we are talking about illegal drugs but I feel most of these people are self-medicating. I see little difference from myself who takes prescribed meds for my bipolar disorder and them. Except, of course, mine are legal. I am just as addicted. That goes for the inhaler I have been using for a longer period of time for my asthma.

Diane MacNaughton

Medicine Hat

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