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Letter: Safe supply and decriminalization save lives

Decriminalizing a personal amount of drugs does not lead to more people becoming drug users

Safe supply and decriminalization save lives

Misinformed members of the public should not have any impact on decriminalization or a safe drug supply being available.

It is a scientific fact that addiction is a mental health issue. It is not a choice to become an addict, and due to the opioid crisis, we know that pharmaceutical companies bear the blame for many opioid addictions. This is not an opinion, it is a fact.

Studies have also shown that decriminalizing a personal amount of drugs does not lead to more people becoming drug users. It actually saves lives, just as providing a safe supply does. Most street drugs are tainted, and providing a safe supply will prevent deaths due to toxic drug overdose. Similarly, decriminalization provides a pathway for people to get help and stops blaming them for having a mental illness. Putting someone in jail for having a personal amount of drugs on them does nothing to help them get better, because, again, addiction is a mental health issue. And prison isn’t exactly an environment that is conducive to healing.

Those who deny scientific fact should not be able to stop our government from passing decriminalization laws and providing a safe supply of drugs to people who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder. This is something to listen to the experts on. We know that safe supply and decriminalization save lives. These are what will help create a pathway to ending the opioid crisis. So why are we letting people who don’t understand mental illness, specifically substance use disorders, impact the decision making?

Piper Cote

Cowichan Bay

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