The RCMP, which has publicly taken a neutral position on Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site for drug addicts, has produced an internal report harshly critical of the pilot project.
The three-page analysis, obtained by the Vancouver Sun, suggests that the "harm reduction" approach -- helping addicts avoid overdosing or contracting HIV/AIDS -- actually encourages drug use.
"There is considerable evidence to show that when the perceived risks associated to drug use decreases, there is a corresponding increase in number of people using drugs," states Staff-Sgt. C.D. (Chuck) Doucette, Pacific region co-ordinator of the RCMP's Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness program.
Doucette's analysis, obtained through the Access to Information Act, was produced in July while Insite, which opened on a trial basis in late 2003, lobbied to have its licence extended for three years. Skeptical of the project, Prime Minister Stephen Harper would agree only to extend it to December 2007.
Harper, who said he would rely partly on the advice of the RCMP, also cut federal research money for the site. Dr. Thomas Kerr, one of the authors of a recent report on the Vancouver facility, reviewed the Mountie report and said he finds it "frightening" that the Harper government is relying on such analysis.
Kerr, a research scientist at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, said Doucette made numerous errors and lacks credibility -- and should "really leave that type of evaluation activity with qualified scientists."
Staff-Sgt. CD Doucette's report is summed up this way:
In his report, Doucette said overdose deaths in Vancouver increased from 2004 to 2005 despite a corresponding decrease in the rest of the province. He also said there's "no evidence" to show that Insite users are going to drug treatment, and said there has been no decrease in public drug use in the area around the facility. Kerr, however, said peer-reviewed and published scientific studies have shown that Insite users are going into detox facilities and that drug use in the area has been reduced.Look, I am still upset that the City of Toronto is disturbing free “safe” crack kits to junkies. I can’t speak to the general health level of crackies in my neighborhood, but open drug activity in my neighborhood has a rather dramatic and pronounced element to it since the distribution. – just ask Darcey.
Via National News Watch