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Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canad

    Copyright Queen’s University 2011  1
    WRIT 125
    Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canada”  代写
    Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canada”
    Resistance to Insite: A Misunderstanding of Drug Addiction in Canada
    In 2003, a supervised injection centre, Insite, was established in Vancouver’s
    Downtown Eastside. It was the first legal facility of its kind in North America, and it was
    exempted from federal drug laws by Canada’s Liberal government (Vancouver Coastal
    Health). The current Conservative government, however, vehemently opposes the project
    and is using all available avenues to close the centre. Despite overwhelming evidence on
    the social and health benefits derived from supervised drug sites, Stephen Harper’s
    administration continues to push for narcotics prohibition as opposed to a harm reduction
    policy. Not only should Insite be permitted to serve the Vancouver area, but additional
    Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canada”  代写
    centres should be opened in high-risk neighbourhoods. The hostility to Insite is only one
    example of Canada’s ineffective and misguided drug laws, and it demonstrates the need
    for a massive overhaul of federal policy. The government should change its approach by
    regulating the sale of non-addictive substances and by using the revenues from these
    sales to fund health-related projects like injection centres and rehabilitation programs.
    Insite, operated by Vancouver Coastal Health, provides a place for drug users to
    inject substances while under the supervision of medically trained staff. Insite’s nurses
    refer addicts to counselling and detoxification programs, provide them with clean needles
    and paraphernalia, and intervene in cases of overdose. According to Insite’s records, the
    centre hosts an average of 702 visitors a day, and no fatalities have resulted from the
    nearly 500 overdoses that take place annually on the premises (Vancouver Coastal Health
    par. 5). One of the main objectives of this centre, aside from accommodating drug
    injection users, is to conduct research. The facility collects statistical and qualitative
    information on its visitors, and it endeavours to provide the local and federal
    governments with a better understanding of drug addiction in Canada (par. 12).
    Copyright Queen’s University 2011  2
    Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canada”  代写
    The benefits of the Insite project have been affirmed by numerous studies.
    Research by the Urban Health Research Initiative of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in
    HIV/AIDS shows that the facility refers addicts to rehabilitation programs, effectively
    treats overdose victims without burdening emergency services, does not encourage or
    increase local drug use, and lowers crime rates in nearby vicinities (23-35). In spite of
    these reduced harms to society, the current government has been persistent in its efforts
    to shut down Insite. The Conservative Party’s previous attempts to close the centre failed
    in both the British Columbia Supreme Court as well as the Canadian Supreme Court, and
    the administration is now appealing for a second time (“Ottawa to Appeal” par. 16). The
    adamant opposition to the project is costing taxpayers large sums of money, while
    reinforcing misleading and antiquated attitudes about drug use.
    Insite is founded on the core principle of harm reduction. Managers of the
    program understand that if addicts are not permitted to inject drugs while supervised, they
    will do so elsewhere and without sanitized equipment (Vancouver Coastal Health par. 7).
    Allowing users to inject drugs on their own leads to increased transmission of diseases,
    contributes to local crime, and widens the risk of fatal overdose (par. 10). Regardless of
    any drug laws which might be enacted and the enforcement of those laws, the tribulations
    of hardcore addicts will persist. These harms are best managed by seeing the problem for
    what it really is and by providing assistance and accommodation to those suffering from
    dependence.
    Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canada”  代写
    Conservative leaders have been intransigent in their resistance to Insite, claiming
    that the centre condones drug use (“Ottawa to Appeal” par. 6). But the government’s
    argument against the program is reflective of a broader and more serious problem: the
    widespread belief that drug addiction is a matter of crime as opposed to a matter of
    health. The prohibition approach to narcotics has been adopted by most western states for
    the past century and has generally proven to be ineffective. Addiction is still prevalent
    throughout North America, and the incarceration of addicts has failed to deter users or to
    wean them off of substances. Despite the shortcomings of America’s War on Drugs and
    similar Canadian strategies, the Conservative government is escalating its commitment to
    a failing course of action. According to the CBC, “Hardhearted policies make criminals
    Copyright Queen’s University 2011  3
    out of citizens who either enjoy drugs recreationally or suffer from serious dependence.
    Neither group belongs in jail, when the only victims of these crimes are the users
    themselves” (“Ottawa to Appeal” par. 8). Those who cannot escape the grips of drug
    addiction require medical assistance; prosecution and criminal proceedings will never
    address the root of their health problems.
    Politicians often try to justify strict drug policies by pointing to the connection
    between narcotics and crime. Although drugs are inextricably linked to violence in some
    communities, much of this disorder results from the criminalization of drugs in the first
    place. By making certain substances illegal, governments only create black-markets for
    those goods. Criminal activity then arises in order to defend and uphold the profits of the
    underground industry (Abadinsky 54). One cold and inconvenient truth follows from this
    pattern: the human species is prone to consuming substances for self-intoxication.
    Humankind has ingested plants, chemicals, and alcohol for thousands of years, and it
    continues to do so at an unrelenting rate. This is not an unnatural or unethical trend but
    rather, according to Abadinsky, an inherent and historical tendency. Research has
    additionally suggested that certain persons are genetically predisposed to drug use, and
    that this predisposition is hereditary (76). To wage a war on drug use is to wage a war
    against a tendency of humanity itself. It is impossible to fundamentally reduce people’s
    yearning to become inebriated, as this would require an alteration of intrinsic human
    qualities and behaviours. The failure of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s further illustrates
    the futility of an abstinence-based crime-focused strategy.
    Not only has the Canadian government ignored the inevitability of drug use and
    neglected the health aspect of this issue, but it has misdirected its resources towards ill-
    informed criminal policy. The penalties for possessing non-addictive items like marijuana
    and psychedelic compounds are unreasonable, and they equate the actions of recreational
    users with those of addicts who depend on hard drugs. These two categories of
    substances and persons are quite different, and they ought to be treated differently under
    the law. All the while, tobacco and alcohol are two of the most harmful drugs to society
    (Abadinsky 10), yet they are entirely legal and taxed. The laws are clearly riddled with
    inconsistencies, have no grounding in science or logic, and reflect the parochialism that
    Copyright Queen’s University 2011  4
    Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canada”  代写
    pervades Canadian lawmaking. The key to developing an effective policy is to be
    forthright and recognize the realities of drug consumption, and then manage the resulting
    harms through a scientifically-backed approach. To categorize all users as offenders who
    should be punished for their actions is simplistic, and so is the claim that all drugs are
    harmful and lead to death or despair. Narrow-mindedness is fuelling the Conservative
    government’s resistance to Insite. By claiming that the centre condones or promotes
    drugs, “authorities highlight substance abuse’s legal connotations instead of its medical
    ones” (“Ottawa to Appeal” par 14). Insite does not support narcotics but addresses the
    realities which plague addicts. The centre attempts to dissociate drugs from the realm of
    crime and illegality; instead, it focuses on the harms and health problems that result from
    substance abuse (UHRI 34) Unfortunately, Canadian policymakers have not backed this
    direct and honest approach.
    What, then, are the specific alternatives for addressing the drug situation in
    Canada? How can society balance the harms of addiction with a reasonable tolerance for
    nontoxic substances? The former mayor of Vancouver, Larry Campbell, has proposed
    one interesting solution. During his time in office, he was instrumental in granting Insite
    the legal authorization to operate in the Downtown Eastside. Campbell pioneered a four
    pillar approach to drug abuse, which consisted of prevention, treatment, law enforcement,
    and harm reduction (Campbell, Boyd, and Culbert 272). He argued that promoting total
    abstinence from drugs was impractical, and that the country should instead “legalize
    marijuana... and tax it, with the money collected going into treatment programs for those
    addicted to harder drugs” (Campbell, Boyd, and Culbert 277). Although his
    recommendation has yet to gain much attention in the media, the approach has been
    advocated by doctors, economists, politicians, and addicts. It merits serious
    consideration, because this proposal recognizes two facts which Canadian law has
    historically ignored. First, citizens are not clueless. They understand that many drugs are
    not harmful or habit-forming and seek the freedom to consume those items without fear
    of prosecution. Second, people suffering from genuine addictions should not be
    threatened with imprisonment, but instead deserve treatment and assistance.
    Copyright Queen’s University 2011  5
    The change in Canadian drug policy needs to be drastic. Lawmakers must stop
    pursuing the prohibition of harmless and non-addictive substances. If government taxes
    and regulate marijuana and other safe compounds, the revenues can be directed towards
    treatment programs like Insite. Funding addiction and health-related projects is a better
    allocation of resources than vainly trying to purge the country of narcotics. Drug use is
    not an epidemic which needs to be eradicated, let alone something which is possible to
    eliminate. Research has shown that this human tendency can only be managed, and
    effective management will reduce the harms to society. Criminalizing the natural pitfalls
    of human behaviour, on the other hand, is a misdiagnosis of the problem. Governments
    have made little progress by trying to restrain the innate tendencies of citizens, and
    history is littered with failures like the War on Drugs and Prohibition. Insite is taking a
    step in a new direction, with a progressive approach that is needed in many cities. If
    supervised injection centres become more prevalent, perhaps Canadian society will
    experience a paradigm shift. Policymakers might relieve themselves of the notion that
    drug use is unnatural and abnormal, and might instead admit that this health issue
    warrants realistic management.
    Copyright Queen’s University 2011  6
    Works Cited
    Abadinsky, Howard. Drug Use and Abuse: A Comprehensive Introduction. Belmont:
    Thomson Wadsworth, 2008. Print.
    Campbell, Larry, Neil Boyd, and Lori Culbert. A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver’s
    Downtown Eastside and the Fight for its Future. Vancouver: Greystone Books,
    2009. Print.
    “Ottawa to Appeal Injection Site Ruling.” CBC.ca. 9 February 2010. April 15, 2010.
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/09/bc-supreme-court-
    appeal-supervised-injection-site.html.
    Urban Health Research Initiative of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in
    HIV/AIDS. Findings from the Evaluation of Vancouver’s Pilot Medically
    Supervised Safer Injection Facility – Insite. Vancouver: UHRI, June 2009. Print.
    Vancouver Coastal Health. Supervised Injection Site. 30 November 2010. Web.
    April 14, 2010. http://supervisedinjection.vch.ca/.
    Note: This essay has been changed from the original version. Some editing has been
    done with regard to style and grammar, and citations have been added in several
    paragraphs. Note also that this is simply a sample of what a good research essay
    might look like; it is not a template for exactly how you should word your thesis or
    sequence your paragraphs.
    Sample Essay for the topic “A current health issue in Canada”  代写