A recent study was released by Simon Fraser University about the benefits of a safe injection site for the city of Ottawa. This isn’t the first time such a report has been released. We have seen numerous reports note the various benefits of these sites. They help reduce mortality, overdoses and crime. They help to clean up neighbourhoods cluttered with needles and drug paraphernalia.
So far, Ottawa has been too timid to act. Our Chief of Police doesn’t believe the evidence and our mayor either doesn’t have the inclination or the political courage to help a large number of vulnerable residents. It’s quite a disgrace.
The most recent study, though, may finally sway some people*, because now, we’re talking about saving the city some money:
In his peer-reviewed paper, Simon Fraser University’s Ehsan Jozaghi suggests health-care savings of $5 million — a number associated with the prevention of an estimated nine HIV infections and 88 hepatitis C infections from dirty needles — would more than make up for the $4-million cost of operating two Ottawa clinics. In fact, he argues, the savings would probably be higher because the clinics would also reduce other infection rates and overdose deaths.
It is becoming incredibly difficult to argue against a safe injection site from any perspective other than malice. Can you imagine how much contempt you must have for someone that you would turn down $1 million instead of helping them?
*That’s really just wishful thinking. I doubt many will be swayed or will even pay attention.