Cities, towns need vil­lages

The Daily Courier - - OPINION -

Dear edi­tor: Ev­ery town and city should have a vil­lage. This vil­lage should be a new con­cept in fu­ture de­sign and for­ward think­ing.

I am re­fer­ring to the un­de­ni­able facts that show all and ev­ery ef­fort to deal with B.C.’s drug ad­dic­tion and its dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects are not work­ing. This sad and wors­en­ing is­sue has to stop be­ing bandied around by gov­ern­ments who pre­tend to care. From mu­nic­i­pal to pro­vin­cial to fed­eral gov­ern­ments ...they need to get on the same page.

A vil­lage would be a new or present fa­cil­ity where an ad­dict would be housed and cared for. The vil­lagers would enter the vil­lage and work their way through the sys­tem, us­ing their time and ex­treme ef­fort along with all the best med­i­cal help to the exit door. But, the jour­ney would not be a shoe in. It would take an enor­mous ef­fect to reach the door back to free­dom. It would take en­cour­age­ment from the fam­ily and friends, and even­tu­ally they would need a pos­i­tive med­i­cal as­sess­ment that shows they are ready and able to re­join so­ci­ety.

The cost to so­ci­ety would be enor­mous, but com­pared to the fail­ing and wors­en­ing sys­tem that we have now, it would be worth it.

We need to set an ex­am­ple and stop do­ing what isn’t work­ing. We need to be for­ward thinkers here in this prov­ince.

An ad­dict is not a home­less per­son, an ad­dict is not a men­tally chal­lenged per­son. An ad­dict is some­one who has a bas­tard of a side­kick that won’t be de­nied, And, it comes in many dis­guises, pow­ders, po­tions, pills and other forms.

But, un­for­tu­nately a home­less per­son and/or a men­tally-chal­lenged per­son will through our mis­guided sys­tem, fall prey to this devil and quite pos­si­bly be­come an ad­dict too.

We have too many rich and com­fort­able peo­ple who are im­mune from the crip­pling life­styles that the lower ech­e­lons of so­ci­ety have to en­dure. We need vil­lages — not leper colonies. We need to act.

Ask any par­ent who has lost a kid or a loved one to this present sys­tem. Would they rather have their child in a lo­cal vil­lage where they can visit and en­cour­age them them, or on skid row won­der­ing if they will make it through an­other night? Don Smithy­man


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