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Should we dispense drugs like candy?

Re: “Simple plans help drug crisis,” editorial, Dec. 29. I read this editorial with interest, but it left me with many questions.

Re: “Simple plans help drug crisis,” editorial, Dec. 29.

I read this editorial with interest, but it left me with many questions. We all agree that an illicit-drug crisis is rampant throughout North America, leaving carnage in its wake, but some experts tell us to beware of simple plans and risky short-term measures in dealing with this issue.

Dr. Mark Tyndall’s proposal to provide hydromorphone (Dilaudid) in vending machines at places such as supervised-consumption sites appears to be both simple and risky. Essentially, the plan would provide drug users with safe, easy and inexpensive access to hydromorphone.

I am sure the plan is well-intentioned and is meant to save lives, but what are the risks? Would such a plan unintentionally promote illicit opioid use? More importantly, would this plan expand drug use and entice first-time users, by giving them indirect access to an inexpensive opioid, with no danger of it being tainted with the deadly fentanyl? Furthermore, if this plan is not tightly controlled, could B.C. attract illicit-drug users and dealers from other provinces, wanting to cash in on a hydromorphone windfall?

If this proposal is ultimately approved, it would be interesting to see how many thousands of these pills are dispensed before the government takes a more sober look at this simple and risky plan. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: Should highly addictive hydromorphone be dispensed like candy in vending machines?

David Mansell

Courtenay

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