According to The Gateway, (DeCoste, 2018). Jason Kenney was condemning safe injection sites on March 2. He considered “helping addicts inject poison into their veins is not a solution to the problem of addiction (Karim, 2018).

DeCoste argues that the comments represent how Kenney lacks knowledge and potentially concern “about addiction, mental illness, and the cycle of poverty.” Safe injection sites have reduced the number of addiction-related deaths.

DeCoste sees the main disagreement with Kenney in criminality versus health, where DeCoste views this as a health issue and Kenney sees this as a criminality issue. The health perspective considers drug problems more to do with the environment.

The criminality perspective thinks the problems associated with substances come more from the person. That is, Kenney is wrong by the analysis of DeCoste to view substance abuse as a personality or moral flaw rather than an illness with associated addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

DeCoste reminds the readers that addiction requires long-term solutions with safe injection sites as part of them in contrast to the statements by Kenney. The safe injection sites provide clean needles and professional medical attention at the sites.

Two public health concerns are reduced through safe injection sites with HIV infections and overdoses rates going down. Correlation is not causation, however, since 2003, British Columbia’s HV infections went from the highest to nearly the lowest in the country.

Also, around Insite – a harm reduction facility, the number of overdoses has decreased by 35% (Picard, 2017). In short, the claims about the safe injections sites improving societal outcomes, by which I mean individual Canadian citizens across the board health outcomes, are well-supported.

The larger umbrella term for the philosophy and the methodology is harm reduction. Harm reduction is a methodology in which to reduce harm, as the title implies. In fact, MacQueen reported on 40 peer reviewed research studies that supported harm reduction as a legitimate strategy to improve the health outcomes of individuals, and so families, communities, and society.

To deny this is to deny evidence, to deny this evidence is to worsen the health outcomes of those same individuals and potential others as well, this is the implication with the science when ideological and political differences are put to the side.

As DeCoste said, “On April 14, 2016, B.C. declared a Public Health Emergency — one which has little to do with criminal activity, but lots to do with the physical wellbeing of its citizens.”


DeCoste, K. (2018, March 19). Jason Kenney’s anti-harm reduction stance helps nobody. Retrieved from

Karim, M. (2018, March 2). Jason Kenney criticized over safe consumption site comments. Retrieved from

MacQueen, K. (2015, July 20). The science is in. And Insite works.. Retrieved from

Picard, A. (2017, March 26). Vancouver’s safe injection site cuts overdose deaths. Retrieved from

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen


(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail:

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

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