Mayor endorses controversial addiction program

Byline: Sean Condon
Source: The WestEnder
Feb 01 2007

Substituting certain drugs for others can help recovery, advocates say

Sharon Message was finally able to break her debilitating, years-long crack cocaine habit in the 1990s. Unfortunately, she did so by substituting it with crystal meth. While she was happy to have kicked the former, the 45-year-old mother was now addicted to the latter, a harmful psychostimulant drug.

Mayor Sullivan backs substitution treatment

Mayor Sam Sullivan is playing a leadership role in the formation of a group that is seeking a Health Canada exemption to allow ‘substitution treatment’ for people with chronic addictions. The exemption would allow doctors to prescribe legally available oral medications as substitutes for addictive illegal drugs.

Mayor Sullivan says the eventual goal of this form of treatment is to get people off drugs. “Prescribing legally available medications provides people an opportunity to regain stability in their lives and ultimately a path to abstinence,” he said. “Recognizing that drug addiction is one of the root causes of property crime and public disorder, I believe that this new approach will also help to reduce harm to the community.”