6th March 2023
The Herald Sun Editorial on the 3rd of March quotes the Premier saying,
“It may well be that there are new patterns of behaviours which are directly relevant to try to deal with that (drug Use) community and provide the safest environment, as well as pathways to treatment and therapy. This is just a common sense approach, “Mr Andrews said.
We think this statement says it all,
- When did Drug users become a community? Calling them this elevates individuals whose only common purpose is illegal activity to a quasi-legitimate community group. This insults every other Victorian that feels they belong to a community. So next, we will have the Hoon Community, the Bikie community (nee gang), the home invasion community, the car stealing community and so on – inclusiveness has gone mad.
- “ -provide the safest environment and pathways to treatment and therapy”. The glaring omissions are the victims and impact of Safe Injecting Rooms, which seem to have no place in this scheme.
Should they not be front of mind? Where is their ‘Safest environment’? Unlike Drug addicts who have made their own choices, the victims of these injecting rooms did not have an opportunity to choose but must suffer the consequences.
To ameliorate their situation, the Government has done nothing.
The Editorial also notes that the Richmond Facility has managed over 6355 overdoses. Which is incongruous with the concept of “Safe”.
The penny may drop with the proponents of the facility that the addicts are using the facility deliberately to ‘stretch the envelope’ on their dosage because if they push it too far and overdose, they will be looked after.
Effectively the rooms are used by addicts to use more drugs not less.
Equally, many addicts have already had a hit from other legal means, Methadone or other drugs, by Medical partitioners while we struggle for an appointment at the same doctors.
Naivety is rife in the halls of power- the addicts abuse the system at will.
What is also conveniently overlooked is that many addicts are driving to and from the facility on our roads under the influence of drugs. The risks are nearly beyond comprehension, and any government that would facilitate this is irresponsible.
We have substantial difficulty with the Government being involved in criminal activity. The Drug facility overtly provides a benefit to the drug trade providing a convenient hub to peddle their wares. How is it thought that addicts access their drugs? Being party to this criminality is a disgrace and clearly bad advice has been given to Government.
But of course, the Government would not seem to have a plan by considering the operation of a new Safe Drug facility, not next to a school in a health centre as in North Richmond but next to a transport hub where all Victorians using the hub will be mixed with drug addicts and drug pushers. All the problems caused in North Richmond will be multiplied tenfold, just what are they thinking?
With the convenience of public transport for the addicts, who would want to travel in a confined space with people reacting to drugs? Apart from everybody else, think about the risk to the thousands of children who use our public transport systems for school. How is it proposed they will be protected?
Injecting Rooms are neither safe for the addicts nor the community, no matter where you put them, as they do not even rate as a band-aid to the issue. It is even questionable that they save lives.
The CAA proposes a complete rethink on how to deal with the issue to provide the safest environment and pathways to treatment and therapy.
Following what is done internationally is only following a path to guaranteed failure.
A pathway exists to help addicts meaningfully, and reduce the impact on the community.
The CAA believes the solution will be based on proactive intervention, law enforcement (not passive avoidance) along with appropriate rehabilitative infrastructure.
The use of Health Orders to place addicts or users in a secure medical facility so that their overall health can be attended to, and the pathway to sobriety can be laid out for them, is the key.
A short hiatus in their addiction under medical care for fourteen days without access to their drug lifestyle, which is a substantial part of the addiction, will put them in a better position to deal with life issues they are facing and the community has a break from the associated crime of the addict or user.
This solution will most likely be very palatable to the broader community (who vote) and dramatically reduce the risks to the addicts (who do not vote) and the crime associated with this insidious disease.
A relevant and apt quote from one of our supporters who on another matter was reminded of the words of H L Mencken: ‘For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.’
A new paradigm is needed.
Well worth trying.
This is complete nonsense. There are so many factual errors in this statement that it’s hard to know where to start. However, firstly, no one has said that these facilities make injecting ‘safe’. Those are your words, no one else’s. Secondly, the facility was established in 2017 despite years of intensive policing (non-avoidance) that made little difference to the availability and use of drugs, all it did was displace the problem from North Richmond to Abbotsford and beyond. Since its inception, the rate of deaths from overdose in the Yarra area has dropped by over half. The school that you and others mention fully supports the injecting room, they always have. The ground on both sides of Victoria Street was littered with syringes prior to 2017. Now the litter has mostly gone. As for the quote by Mencken, the injecting room is not the ‘answer to the problem’, it’s part of a strategy that is in itself complex, just like people’s lives. So the quote is arguing in opposite to what you have written. I prefer Churchill, and I apply this to drug law enforcement: “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill
But don’t wait for this arrogant premier to admit a mistake, even though he doesn’t have to do deals with the so-called ‘Freedom Party’ (another misnomer!), to get their vote on other totalitarian legislation, anymore.
What can one say about this government’s irresponsible stance? Clearly, the government of Victoria cares more about the welfare of drug addicts than about the wellbeing of the local population! What is happening to our democracy? Since when is the will of the people ignored??
Availability of this facility will only increase criminality in that geographical area. Is that what the government wants? Looks like it!!
By the way, I applaud the the CAA focussing its attention to this important issue. We all strive for community safety which is undermined by the proposed operation of a new “safe”drug facility.
The government politicians who approve of such facilities don’t have a problem with them because injecting rooms will never be in the vicinity of their homes and I’m sure they would not be regular commuters at Flinders St railway station. The facilities would be much better positioned in industrial type areas.
My own reaction seems to mirror the above publication view. Namely why is there so minimal emphasis on rehab/getting away from drug use dependence, including the need to use it regularly as part of social entertainment? The risk of addiction surely is too high and not sustainable, nor desirable as part of any persons ongoing life style. So yes instead aim with increased efforts at the mentioned withdrawal intervention , under medical supervision and ongoing support to keep off the habit of using drugs for fun and having to live with the tragic consequences that can so easily slip into becoming a constant burden to oneself, ones family and society at large. Seems to be so much more desirable and needed to spend available funds for in a more realistically caring way.
While I understand that there are what can be described as “innocent’ players in the illegal drug lifestyle who actually do need our assistance with what happens in this environment, this I can only assume is in the minority of cases. My experience with those in the lifestyle is one of deliberate involvement and investment in drug taking and the embracing of drug use as part and parcel of a criminal intent to pursue a lifestyle separate from the regular citizen that has to include the indulgence of anything else illegal, as being in character with a desire to be set apart from responsible choices; deliberately pursuing illegal life choices supporting that debased character, mostly devoid of thoughts for others when that debased self-focus is all that is desired by such individuals. So it is not surprising for this writer, having been a direct witness and recipient of farcical and yet continual support for illegal activities in the State of Victoria by the authorities which gladly take our monies, but do nothing on behalf of public stability, to see the Government deftly step in and wholeheartedly support more criminals in achieving their lofty lifestyle aspirations with greater ease and comfort while getting it. It seems State Government are treating their preferred soulmates all equally from top to bottom, as in the past the very lofty rich, put in positions of trust such as Councils and Ministerial placements, have many times found the generosity of spirt of Government to assist in many ways; even loftier self indulgent and Act/Law defying desires and activities, which now can include the lower of the low in society with an equal share of public funds to foster a much sort after criminal lifestyle without effort or responsibility to public need. Bad enough they get cart Blanche on opportunities for forgiveness once they do get caught committing (that is if the current Policing activities ever includes their prevention). Well done chaps! At what point are you going to realize that the cash cow you are all incrementally slaughtering by hacking a bit off here and there, is going to fall over dead and what then is your plan after that? Oh I forgot… the cows, dead or otherwise are to be herded into the lovely and sterile State corals of a 20 Minute City. Will there be drug injecting rooms for them there as well? It will help criminal addicts save more money to spend on drugs and the paraphernalia of crime instead of having to spend the money on shelter like the rest of us must do. Or are what few funds that are left from the public purse to be spent in the purchase of houses for these poor souls in these dystopian zones you also propose, as they usually move into someone else’s property illegally, as they do now to enhance their drug life expectations, Good luck with that one too as we cash cows have run out of patience with your callous indifference to our needs and your utter incompetent mismanagement of “our” funds and resources.