Letters: ‘Zero tolerance is key’

What a breath of fresh air to hear someone say that zero tolerance is a key factor on the success stories of recovering drug addicts.

Editor, The News:

Re: A sad, sorry never-ending story (Sidewinder, Sept. 2).

I would like applaud Sandy Macdougall’s article concerning the drug issue facing Maple Ridge.

What a breath of fresh air to hear someone say that zero tolerance is a key factor on the success stories of recovering drug addicts. This may seem obvious, but I think it is lost on our leaders.

Why don’t we take a look at what does work. The Union Gospel Mission in downtown Vancouver provides food, shelter, clothing and many other resources to those who need it. The big difference is there is zero tolerance to any drugs on, in or around the property.

The grounds around the facility are spotless, as the people that use the facility are responsible for keeping the neighbourhood clean. Imagine that, actually working for your food. I wonder what that does for a person’s self-esteem?

It’s great that Maple Ridge recognizes the drug problem, although it’s not hard to miss, and wants to do something about it. But I think the goal is to help the people who want help, who want to get clean, and get their life back. How does a place that permits drugs and drug use, and now considering a safe injection site, help reach that goal? How does a person who comes to the shelter to leave the street life of drugs to get help, stand a chance when it’s all happening inside as well?

Zero tolerance on drugs may see like an impossible task, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive towards it. Shelters need boundaries, allowing the best resources for those people who want help,  rather than spending money on those people who just want to abuse it.

I know lives that have changed for the better from zero tolerance. However, I am not aware of changed lives for the better where clean needles, and a comfortable place to do drugs are offered.

To combat the ever-growing increase of drugs in Maple Ridge, why not offer a reward system that leads to an arrest of any drug dealer, minimize the dealers, minimize the drugs. Do a campaign of personal testimonies, of success stories at school assemblies, particular to the age groups that are starting, or about to start being confronted with drugs.

We have an excellent resource right in our own backyard at Alouette Addictions, which has years of professional experience on educating kids and parents on everything they need to know about drugs.

Why doesn’t Maple Ridge look at the success of other shelters in Vancouver and use their business models. They’ve been doing it for years, and we clearly have no idea how to handle it.

Jeff Zacharias

Maple Ridge

 

Just Posted

Hospice society hosts fifth annual Oktoberfest

Oktoberators rock out Pitt Meadows hall for fundraiser

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge NDP candidate wins in mock Student Vote Canada

Nationally, students elected a Liberal minority government

Ruimy defeated after one term as Liberal MP in Pitt Meadow-Maple Ridge

Said that he did everything he had planned to do

Dalton takes riding for Conservatives

Says he personally knocked on 10,000 doors in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

Busy time at polling place in Maple Ridge as hours tick down

Polls close at 7 p.m. in Canada’s 43 election

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

VicPD return Victoria fugitive from France for attempted murder trial

Sebastien Normandin, 49, charged with attempts to hit former girlfriend with car

Three sprayed with mace during altercation at Port Coquitlam high school

Mounties are still working to determine exactly how many youth were involved

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

Guns, crossbows, swords, ammo seized in raid on Fraser Valley home

Weapons also included stun guns and replica firearms

Homicide team investigates death of man in his 20s in Chilliwack

Victim known to police and attack likely targeted, IHIT says

Most Read