People are not disposable or a nuisance to be moved or hidden out of sight because of the disease of addiction. In August alone, 13 lives were saved and 150 Londoners were referred to rehab in 150 days at the city’s safe consumption facility.
We have a moral responsibility as a community to never ignore suffering happening in London due to drug addiction. This is why I fully support London having a safe consumption facility today and not tomorrow. We cannot let one more person die in our city when we have the power to stop it. Some who are running for office are saying they don’t support safe consumption sites. Some say we should only have this service offered at the hospital. Well, these approaches are wrong.
Hospitals are the single most expensive way to treat those with addictions. Our hospitals already face overcrowding with people being made to sleep in hallways. We also know those with addictions are most successfully treated when the services they need are provided where they use. We shouldn’t move safe consumption services to already strained hospitals.
HIV rates are going down everywhere in Canada, except London, where they are on the rise. The cost to treat one person with HIV is $1.3 million. One single case of HIV prevented pays to operate the Supervised Consumption Site for a year, so a safe consumption site makes sense economically.
We also know we cannot police our way out of this problem as we’ve tried this approach for too many years and failed every single time. We need a new approach based on science, best practices, and compassion.
There are people in our community who are suffering and dying because of the hell of addictions. We can’t stand by and let people die when there is a proven and effective way of changing their lives for the better. Caring is what London is about, caring is what my campaign is about, because in my vision of London, everyone matters.