Healing body and mind needs to happen for addicts, too

Healing body and mind needs to happen for addicts, too

Drugs not being dealt with the same way as other health problems

What about a compulsory hospital for addicts?

After reading Andrea Rondeau’s editorial (Cowichan Valley Citizen), and reflecting on the comments of Duncan’s mayor, I am encouraged to share some thoughts that I and some friends have regarding this issue. Duncan’s mayor indicated some “hard decisions” need to be made sometimes to solve some difficult problems.

So let’s think outside the box when it comes to taking care of our street people, who in many cases have a drug and/or alcohol problem. In some cases a mental problem that needs help, not just leave them on the streets.

The premise of my comments centres on the fact that society is spending an astronomical amount of tax dollars on hospital services, EMT services, police services, safe injection sites and not to mention the cost to all of us of theft and vandalism. The current efforts are referred to as “harm reduction”. So if the key issue is harm reduction, let’s address the root cause of the problem and deal with how to change the habits of these folks.

Just so you know I am not a cold-hearted individual, myself along with seven or eight other men serve breakfast to many of the street people on Saturday mornings throughout the winter at our church.

So hear me out! With all the tax dollars now spent, as referred to above, why not consider the following idea.

With these substantial funds, (and I mean substantial) we could build a type of hospital that would provide health services, good food services, small rooms to live in, but these folks could not leave the facility until and unless their physical well being had been renewed. I’m talking quality food, doctors, nurses and psychiatrists etc., to meet their needs.

Yes, I know we’re talking about taking away some rights. Freedom only! But wouldn’t we be doing more for these folks than just safe injection sites and now talking about handing them the drugs paid for by taxpayers? Nothing currently being done makes any effort to heal these folks and return them to useful and productive lives.

Every other health problem in society is dealt with by making an effort to heal the body and mind. Why are we not addressing these issues in the same way?

Jack Peake

Duncan