Letter: More stigma should attach to drug use

To provide free drugs simply enables the addiction

More stigma should attach to drug use

I recently received a newsletter from Alistair McGregor, our MP for this riding, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford. Much to my consternation Alistair is advocating the decriminalization of hard drugs. His reasoning is that addicts would be more willing to seek treatment if there was less stigma attached to drug use.

I propose that exactly the opposite is true. Much social research has been done over the years and it is that “an addict will only seek treatment and have a chance at rehabilitation after they have hit rock bottom”.

Even with treatment it is very difficult to kick an addiction since it totally overwhelms the nervous system and creates enormous cravings. Addicts take drugs because they love the high it gives them and it covers whatever emotional pain they are experiencing.

To provide free drugs simply enables the addiction. How many addicts will our society be able to absorb and pay for? What if half of our population becomes addicted to hard drugs, how can the rest afford to support them? It would cause immense social agitation.

Alistair talks about taking the use of hard drugs out of the criminal justice system. Addicts already are not being charged for simple possession. What addict have you met that has been jailed? For sure, we need to lock up the pushers.

Isn’t it young men that are the main homeless drug addicted? Have we thought of why? It troubles me that our media and various institutions fail to portray men in a positive light and often only highlight their negatives. Do we make an effort to see men are gainfully employed and help them find their way in a society that sends a very ambiguous message about them.

I would like to see an enormous effort put on educating young people to avoid all drugs and not become addicted in the first place. Don’t give me the argument “they’re going to use it anyway”. There will always be those who listen to reason. It’s about bringing the number of addicted down.

Cristina Adam

Mill Bay