Thursday, February 10, 2005

Free Heroin for Drug Addicts Courtesy of Heath Canada

Health Canada has decided to give out free heroin to drug addicts in three Canadian cities. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is funding the study which will experiment on 470 drug addicts in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. During the $8.1 million study, half of the addicts will receive free heroin for twelve months courtesy of the Canadian taxpayer. The goal of the study is to steer the addicts away from a life of crime and prostitution.

This experiment follows another trial last year which saw Vancouver host a safe injection site for heroin addicts. The site in the city's Downtown Eastside provided a safe place for addicts to shoot heroin or smoke crack and crystal methamphetamines under the supervision of health care workers. That experiment was a three-year, $3.7-million pilot project funded by Health Canada and the B.C. government. Health care officials called that piece of work a resounding success.

These human trials have already been tried in Switzerland in the early 1990s. Switzerland designated a park where heroin addicts could use drugs legally and get free needles. In 1992 the park had to be shut down when the number of addicts grew to unbelievable numbers. Unrepentant, Switzerland tried again. They ran into a similar problem and had to end the second attempt in 1995.

Switzerland then tried giving out free heroin to addicts in an attempt to reduce crime and disease. They realized that less than 10% of participants were able to kick the habit when the government was giving them drugs for free. Yet, the Canadian government wants to have the exact same experiment here.

If we agree that heroin addiction is a bad thing and heroin is prohibited by law, why is it not enough just to prosecute it as a crime? While prosecution may do nothing for those already addicted, it sends a very clear message to those who may feel pressured to try using drugs. This tough love approach may seem cruel, but using taxpayer money to give out free heroin is not the answer. If your daughter tried heroin and got hooked, would you spend all your money buying her free drugs for the rest of her life?

Liberals never seem to get tired of taking the hard earned money of Canadian taxpayers and spending it by the millions on people determined to blow their lives away. The media continues to portray these social experiments as successful when they achieve some lesser and unrelated goal. Who in this country can say with a straight face that contributing to a person’s abuse of heroin, crack and crystal meth a resounding success?

The tough love approach contributes more to a person's success than the apathy of a liberal who would give an endless supply of drugs to a drug addict.

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