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.