Good case for following Portugal drug model

Many of the addicts we see in our valley have undergone terrible childhood abuse

Good case for following Portugal drug model

Dear Alistair [MP MacGregor] and Sonia [MLA Furstenau], I was at a Duncan United Church presentation on local homelessness and drug addiction, with its accompanying crime and misery. Nick Versteeg’s excellent film documentary A Just Society and the following panel discussion, brought many questions to be answered.

A good case was made for following the Portuguese model. In Portugal, the rates of addiction and overdose were so high that one per cent of the population were affected — in Canada that would be 360,000 people. Many of the addicts we see in our valley have undergone terrible childhood abuse and often have to steal to buy drugs that kill the pain. It must be seen as a health care approach rather than a criminal one, and treated accordingly. Portugal did just this, and decriminalized possession for the use of all drugs, providing centres and mobile units to provide the drugs and offer support for the suffering. Pushers were no longer in the picture and crime dropped. I do hope you can look at this model and see how we can apply it in Canada. It would save a great deal of money, as most of our incarcerated are addicts, and we are paying for the court system and to keep them locked up in jail instead of meeting their mental health requirements.

I also believe that young teens should be educated as to what happens to a child in its early years to turn him or her into a criminal or addict, so that when they become parents, they have an idea that the way their child is treated will create the adult. This could open their own floodgates of having been abused on whatever level, and professional help given before they turn to drugs for their own pain, and perpetuate the cycle of sadness. The speakers said they have a curriculum ready to go, but no one is taking it seriously in the education departments.

Addicts feel they are not worthy of being loved or helped, and we need to recognize them as human beings, and say hello as we pass.

Thank you for considering this heartbreaking and increasing problem.

P. Foot

Duncan

Just Posted

Cowichan Tribes’ members vote on land code

Second vote on issue since 2017

Editorial: Chemainus campground a case for use of discretion by ALC

It would be a different matter if the owners had bought a working, or even dormant farm

Lake Flashback: Great Lake Walk, development mooted for Paldi, visitors want more attractions

There’s always been ideas for Paldi, but none have yet come to fruition

Caps get back in win column

Cowichan remains unbeaten at home with 5-2 win over Surrey

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Most Read