I started by asking, what is the value of a human life? If I look at all that is being done by what I call the wisest and most considerate people, then they are worth all that we can afford. Although there are others who would not care to give their humanity a second thought. In my opinion the good win in this situation; to this point!
In my previous discussions, I mentioned that we would have to change our way of thinking; even change our laws if needed, of which some would need to be. First we have the governing attitude that no matter the condition that these folks are in, they have the right to refuse help. If the official line of thinking does not change in this regard, then help is not help, but enabling. Period. By enabling in this manner, we are signing their death warrant.
The activity that a lot of addicts employ are ones that technically are illegal, but we allow it because we don’t have a remedy. Quite seriously we never will; it’s far too complex, even for professionals. Knowing this, let me paint a picture of how I would see it handled.
Remember the fellow I mentioned that had overdosed the third time in one week. First responder care alone would have come at the cost of close to $5000.00! The way I would see it played out, the third time that it happened in such a short time frame would automatically warrant an arrest and the person would be incarcerated in a facility where he would be forced into detox which would be followed by a minimum of six months of mandatory super intense rehabilitation, extendable if the chance of relapse is still too strong.
For obvious reasons, this is where the laws would have to be changed. Most civil rights activists will go crazy on this, but somewhere along the line we have to deal with the problem; gentle love has not slowed the progress; it has just enabled it. We know that properly used, ‘tough love’ is effective and impactful; it’s not about taking away rights, but implementing the rights of a society to properly care for and integrate their citizens. The ‘right’ to live the way we want without interference has come around to bite us in the behind, and it is starting to become painful.
The RCMP face the toughest challenges of all; caught between a rock and a hard place. Instructed by their employers to get tough only to have a court system that has no effective tools, or will, with which to back up the police. Nine times out of ten the same fellow that we called to have taken away for hurting someone else, will be back on the street within one hour. In the words of one officer, without super hard and reliable evidence, no prosecutor will touch it regardless of what happened. Those offended very seldom will lay charges because both they and the offender live on the street so if they talk, the punishment could be worse next time.
Ten extra officers hopefully with “feet on the ground” will certainly make a difference, but instead of driving the trade underground, can we not empower the entire legal system to constructively help; forcibly if needed to attempt to retrain these folks that are caught in a bad place.
Some of the costs to deal with the situations that arise constantly should be diverted to these rehab facilities and the qualified staff to help heal these folks. It will be costly for sure, but to just keep them alive without an effort to help them change is a dead end road. I for one am tired of travelling it.
This is part 4 of a 5 part series.