Letters: Let’s fix this problem, pronto

Here’s a better idea: stop enabling drug use in Maple Ridge.

Editor, the News:

Re:  Region looks at safe injection sites (The News, July 20).

You have got to be kidding me. Not only are drug dealers running rampant in Maple Ridge, seemingly without consequences, but now Fraser Health wants to spend my tax dollars to buy land in order to build  a safe injection site in Maple Ridge?

Here’s a better idea: stop enabling drug use in Maple Ridge. Crack down severely on drug dealers.

The mayor needs to tell the police to  hunt down drug dealers. Prosecute them. Lock them up or put them on chain gangs. If they are not Canadian citizens, deport them immediately.

Stop using my tax money to buy needles that get left on school yards and in parks, where our kids should be safe to play, but aren’t, and instead put my tax money to use in an outreach and detox center.

Put said center way up east of 234th Street on acreage so that the people trying to dry out, detox off drugs are as far away from ‘drug dealer central’ (downtown core) as possible.

How is anyone supposed to get off drugs if the dealers are waiting like vultures at the door?

If Fraser Health really wants to clean up drug addiction around here, that is definitely the way to go.  After all, you don’t take an alcoholic to a bar to help that person ‘dry out,’ so why give a needle to an addict who is trying to get off drugs?

That makes no sense at all.

The children of Maple Ridge deserve better than to be afraid to venture out of their own yards for fear of stepping on a dirty, infected needle.

Parents in Maple Ridge should not have to be afraid to let their children play at the park or school playground because of the threat of dirty needles in the area.

With an outreach and detox centre far away from the downtown core, perhaps foot traffic in the downtown will increase because people will finally feel safe enough to shop in the downtown core.

While Fraser Health and  Maple Ridge council are discussing this, might as well locate supportive housing for addicted people and folks with mental health issues on the same acreage as the outreach and detox centre.

Once the people who enrol in the detox program have gotten off drugs and transitioned to the supported housing, an individual transition  plan could be put in place to help them access further employment, health care or life skills support.

I am a parent, and education assistant and an early childhood educator, so I have a huge vested interest in getting the issues of addiction, homelessness, and increased mental health support put in place in this town. Pronto.

Janine Lehmann

Maple Ridge