800 Heroin Users in Jersey. WHY?

On September 13, 2011, in Society, by Lyndon-Farnham

I was shocked and surprised to learn today from the former Health Minister, Senator Ben Shenton, that it is estimated that approximately 800 islanders are regular users of Heroin.  It is clear to me from this announcement that society has still not found a way to deal with or to fully understand the problem of drug (and alcohol) abuse.  It may be a difficult and unpleasant subject to deal with but it will not go away if we keep our heads in the sand.  Statistics show that a large percentage of crime committed here in Jersey is related to the abuse of drugs and/or alcohol.  Is it therefore not unreasonable to believe that if we can reduce the number of people who have become dependent on drugs or alcohol then a reduction in crime should follow?  So, what are we doing about it?  I will be wanting to find out that the agencies tasked with dealing with these issues are properly resourced and funded. Other questions that need to be addressed are; Why is dependency so high in Jersey? Should addicts/users be punished or cured (or both)? What are the strategies in place to reduce the problem? How are the different departments, ie; health, social services, the Police etc, working together in relation to this? … The figures are shocking and we can no longer hide from the facts.

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