Letters

LETTER: Forced treatment a slippery slope

Re: Letter, “Help homeless by treating issues, by force if necessary.”

I was surprised to read such a powerful statement. What’s next? Will we arrest people for giving you a dirty look? It’s a slippery slope.

Yes, we do have to get serious about this problem. This problem is political. Surprisingly, political concerns do require public involvement and if necessary, action. After all, that is why we vote.

Social problems need real solutions. However, people have been spewing fallacious judgments based on closed-minded opinion without any reason, logic, nor understanding – then we wonder why the issues are still there.

“It’s time for tough love.” This is an oxymoron. Aggressive “love,” borders on anti-social behaviour. Detaining people for having a mental illness, an addiction, or a lack of a home is an infringement of several human rights declarations.

Forcibly detaining people for a context that is in some cases beyond control, or legitimately out of choice, borders on a George Orwell world. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which separates us from some would say animals, is something to be proud of, and we need to remember it in our city and how we are making value judgments on things we disagree with.

“If they refuse, anything else is going to make us all enablers of whatever problem they have.” With this type of logic, you are an enabler. “Not in my backyard,” or ignoring the problem is enabling.

The idea of providing “clean paraphernalia” in the same manner as that of Insite in Vancouver is a harm reduction facility. I think you misunderstand the term. Insite has been the subject of interest in dozens of international studies. The site has been proven to reduce overdoses, public injections, stop the spread of dangerous diseases, saving millions in health care costs, and has led to an increase in detoxification services. I support evidence-based approaches, not illogical value judgments.

Your claim that low barrier housing does nothing to actually treat the problem has no evidence.

A human being has social, emotional and environmental needs. With all of these out of balance it is difficult, if not impossible, to function in a socially accepted manner.

If one of these is changed, such as a safe and clean environment, say low-barrier housing, we have an improved chance to alleviate one problem in a tremendously difficult and difficult to understand context of a marginalized population.

Dylan Much, Abbotsford

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