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What is Toronto thinking?

Dear Editor,

I knew it was just a matter of time before I saw an article like the one in the Toronto Sun on March 13. The City of Toronto’s overdose action plan suggests giving free heroin to drug abusers!  Paid for, of course, by non-drug users that actually work for a living, and pay plenty of taxes to support stuff like this.

If and when those same taxpayers develop a terminal illness, where there may be no hope of recovery to get back into the taxpaying workforce, and may suffer in excruciating pain, will probably not be given this same heroin to kill their pain, as they provided  to drug abusers through their taxes!

Heroin became legal in Canada in 1984 or 1985 for pain control through the efforts of a doctor who still writes a column under the pseudonym Gifford Jones. However, most doctors would not prescribe it for fear of terminally ill patients becoming “addicted”!

Morphine is still the standard bearer as far as I know, and I watched my mother die in pain in 1987 from bladder cancer that had spread, not knowing then what I learned later that there was a legal alternative to the morphine that would have given greater relief.

My mother’s doctor never mentioned it to me or my family, as we saw that the morphine was not doing the job, even with larger and larger doses.

This indeed pisses me off when I hear all the latest whining about overdosed people that do this to themselves, when they could be weaned off this drug with government help if necessary, although some folks do it themselves. All we hear is how to make life easier for lawbreakers with injection sites and now, of course, free heroin!

People like my mother, who also worked outside the home and paid taxes for years and raised eight children did not matter enough to the medical establishment  to use another legal method to lessen her pain at the end of her life cycle, but would rather give this same drug to modern day abusers to keep them happy!

I have heard many times that it is more difficult to quit smoking tobacco than to quit heroin! If that is true, why are we going this route with this problem? I don’t pretend to know if that is indeed true, as I have only quit smoking years ago, and that was not easy by a long shot, but well worth it, and without government intervention, or cost to the taxpayers.

I don’t see how anybody can get off this heroin habit by supplying them more heroin, or methodone unlimited? It is like giving booze to an alcoholic! Better to go through withdrawal and get clean, and try to stay that way.

We never hear the stats concerning how many addicts are no longer addicts without dying first? In other words, does anybody ever get off this habit by utilizing a safe injection site? All I ever hear is how many lives were saved because of these sites, but how many go right back at it when they recover?

This sounds like a merry go round to me, and a slap in the face to taxpayers that pay for this folly, and maybe get to die in agony if they are refused this same drug in the hospital if they ever need it themselves! We live in an up side down world!

Russ Horner