Almost nobody is beyond redemption from drug addiction, but you wouldn't know it from the deep-throated baying for addiction enablement that dominates debate on the issue. And oh, the hypocrisy: There isn't a single AC pundit in this country militating for Insite who would passively allow his or her own child to use their services. Each and every one of them would move Heaven and Earth to ensure that their loved ones got intervention and treatment. As retired Vancouver policeman Al Arsenault, who patrolled the "chemical gulag" of Downtown Eastside Vancouver for 27 years and who calls Insite an "abject and utter failure," put it: "The rich get treatment, the poor get [Insite]."
Nobody has ever died of an overdose at Insite, a key argument for its supporters. That is true, but so what? No depressed people would ever die from stepping off the Golden Gate Bridge if there were a safety net below it. The net would do nothing to solve the depression of those jumping into the net, or help the many thousands of others who continued to jump from other high places in plain sight of the net. It would only give the impression that society is "doing something" to reduce the harm.
Just like Insite. Yes, 1,400 people use it, but Insite does not protect them from the health risks of direct-to-vein injection. They don't die from a sudden overdose, but they do die from their behaviour. There are better ways than Insite to spend public money. It is puzzling and rather shameful that the federal government has not found its tongue in making its own case on this file.