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Serious Discussion and Debate
Safe Injection Sites
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Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:51 am
I'm part of a pretty active debate club at my school. We go to a lot of university tournaments and get a lot of bills like this, so I thought I would just post some old notes for one of my more interesting debates.
So for those of you who don't know, safe injection sites are basically government controlled facilities, exempt from regular drug laws, where addicts can come to shoot up in a safe environment. Drug users are provided with sterile syringes and equipment, councilling and rehabilitation if they want, and a place to crash while high. Now this might seem counter intuitive, but they have been found to be pretty useful at tackling the drug problem. We have only one in North America, Insite, in Vancouver (Canada). So here is my case for safe injection sites. Be warned - these were rough notes for me to refer to myself, so they are in short point form, and written for the Canadian Parliamentary Debating Format.
THW allow safe injection sites
Gov: MC - Constructive argument: Rehab; Refute; Summarize and backup.
• Rehab: We understand that in our society drugs are a major evil. Both sides agree we have to eliminate the problem, but we disagree on how to do so. We have to deal with it in its own right. Now the opposition proposes total elimination, rather than harm reduction methods. And that’s the problem right there. It is inefficient, difficult, expensive and dangerous to completely eliminate drug use. In many cases this is not possible because firstly, once they are hooked it’s really hard to get them of drugs. They cannot function without them, and it may even be fatal. Also, as we see today, it’s very difficult to muster the resources to pursue every drug user and put him in rehab. So that’s where safe injection sites come in. You can attract addicts to these facilities, and slowly wean them off these drugs. There has to be a slow transition between addiction and rehabilitation. Safe Injection Sites provide therapy, counseling and rehabilitation resources, so suddenly we have a sure fire method of getting these addicts into rehab. Insite in Vancouver has a 40% rehab rate. That’s 40% of all drug abusers visiting the site who go away with a new life. No other method has proven to be so successful in getting addicts into therapy and off the streets where they pose a danger to themselves and others.
• Expand on Crime point: Let me expand on my partner’s point about crime. As he has already mentioned, these sites lead to a decrease of drug related crimes in the neighborhoods, and keep addicts of the streets so they cannot harm others. In addition to this, these sites help us locate and eliminate illegal drug distribution rings. Recently, Vancouver police received information on where drugs were purchased from one of the users of Insite in Vancouver. This lead to the seizure of a few thousand pounds worth of cocaine, and the unraveling of a chain of drug traffickers from the US. Thus, these sites help us eliminate the drug trade, and therefore reduce the number of addicts.
• Next, what is their direct impact on communities? Well firstly, they reduce drug use rates, and thus the numbers of drug related crimes in the area. They create safer neighborhoods. A survey of Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood in Vancouver where Insite, a safe injection site has been established has shown that over 65% of the residents on the area do not mind, or even encourage the facility.
• So to summarize, we on side government have showed you how these safe injection sites would prevent drug abuse, reduce incidences of HIV and syringe borne diseases, improve the health of addicts and introduce them to counseling. These sites make economic sense, and actually save money. They reduce crime rates and create safer neighborhoods. The opposition has brought up several moral and ethical concerns; however, we have refuted all of these and showed you how the government solution actually achieves results. Thus we believe that safe injection sites should be permitted.
A lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on.
- Terry Pratchett
Si non confectus, non recifiat - If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
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