Some of the largest cities in America are beginning a potentially fatal attraction to supervised injection sites for drug addicts.
These facilities allow addicts to consume heroin and other drugs—legally, without the inconvenience of federal, state, or municipal laws to hamper their habit. Proponents argue that the sterile environment and presence of medical professionals offers a relatively safe drug-taking experience.
San Francisco became the first city in America to announce plans to open an injection site later this year, with Philadelphia promising to be the second and Seattle not far behind. New York City has been deliberating over the possibility for almost a year but a decision in favor is highly anticipated, perhaps before the long Easter weekend.
Supervised injection sites are wrong on both moral and practical grounds. These sites may be supervised, but they are certainly not “safe,” as they are described by many social justice advocates, health care professionals, and drug addicts. They do represent a tragically bizarre way of thinking that passes itself off as harm reduction—currently in style with some liberals who believe it is somehow cruel to insist addicts seek treatment or that there is really some way to make the ingestion of a potentially lethal substance like heroin safer.
Just as drugs like heroin and its many opioid derivatives are epidemic in America, supervised injection sites are becoming an epidemic in Canada, where the first such facility opened in Vancouver in 2005. Since then, two more have opened in the city, while Toronto and Montreal have also opened such facilities. The result, as to be expected, has not been a reduction in drug use or a decrease in heroin overdoses but quite the reverse. In 2017, a record 335 people died of opioid-related overdoses in Vancouver, a 43 percent increase from the year before. That all-time high was matched by a provincial level that soared to 1,420 drug deaths in 2017.
Are these figures and is this striking failure prompting the liberal leadership in Canada to question their drug strategy? Yes, but not as you might think. Vancouver is now contemplating decriminalizing all illegal drugs because, inexplicably, this will somehow engender a “safer” drug climate. As evidence and common sense indicate, however, making illegal drugs easier to access and use will most likely lead to a proliferation of drug use and drug deaths. That is precisely what has happened, but liberal health care professionals still don’t get it.
Just as we ask why high schools have become shooting galleries in 2018 when the same Second Amendment rights existed in 1958 without similar tragic results, we have to wonder what moral rot has promulgated a drug-addicted America and Canada.
As Christians, it is clear to see that the virtual eradication of God from public life and the exile of the Bible from public institutions has created a spiritual emptiness in our society that many people choose to fill with drugs. We recently saw the passing of Billy Graham—perhaps the greatest voice of Christianity of the last century. Having grown up watching Graham preach the simple message of the Bible in so many crusades around the world, I have been listening to a personal retrospective of his messages over the years that is available on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. It is both intriguing and just a little bit frightening to listen to Graham confront the moral lapses in America in the 1950s and 1960s—the problems we faced then seem quaint in comparison to now.
What Graham always offered—no matter the decade in which he spoke and the America that he experienced—was God’s love. And that’s what Christians need to continue to provide to a drug-ravaged America and Canada.
But love should never be confused with enabling an alcoholic to drink or a drug addict to use—at public expense. Safe injection sites are sham operations that perpetuate drug habits, exacerbate the drug epidemic, and contribute to the moral collapse of society. Addicts need treatment, not “safe” places to use. They need Christ, not easier access to the poison that is killing them. The hard truth that liberal leaders of license must face is that supervised injection sites are killing centers and, after all is said and done, ineffective in curbing drug use or rebuilding lives.
David Krayden (@DavidKrayden) is the Ottawa Bureau Chief for The Daily Caller. He is a former Air Force public affairs officer and communications specialist for the Canadian Parliament.