LETTER: Drug addiction should be treated like any other addiction

Dear editor,

To the writer who is appalled at government supporting safe injection sites (Aug. 24 Letters), instead of being appalled, I suggest educating yourself about addiction.

It won’t take you long to understand addiction’s not a choice. It was a choice to try a drug, but it is not a choice to be addicted.

If you try smoking and become addicted, you can buy cigarettes from a safe source and your subsequent cancer will be treated like all other diseases. If you try alcohol and become addicted, you can buy from safe sources and drink at safe establishments. If you become obese and contract diabetes from an eating addiction, you can acquire medication from a regulated source and receive help like other diseases.

If you try a drug and become addicted, you are judged and treated different than any other disease. I have witnessed how my father was supported by our system as he fought cancer for 3 years before he died. And I have experienced the lack of support an addict receives when they want help. That lack of addiction support is appalling! Unless you can pay thousands of dollars a month, there is none.

You stated that addicts are a threat to your kids, yet when I think of children who have been harmed, addicts do not come to mind. I think of their family members, friends of family, coaches, religious leaders and instructors, not addicts.

The lunacy you write of is really how negatively people judge addicts and how there isn’t safe and easily accessible treatment for drug addiction. Educating oneself about addiction will help remove the ill-deserved stigma. A safe injection site is one way that has proven to be effective in supporting addicts. They are real, loving people dealing with a deadly disease and should be supported accordingly.

John Hedican

Courtenay