Letter: Society should not pay for bad decisions made by drug users

Letter: Society should not pay for bad decisions made by drug users


When as a member of the human race are we going to be responsible for our own actions?

Why, when we screw up do we think that others should pay for our bad decisions?

I’m a 75 year-old woman who grew up on the east side of Vancouver, I might add in a very poor neighbourhood in a dysfunctional family. My dad was what they call now a deadbeat dad who did not live with us but came around to beat on my mom.

We, my mom, my sister, brother, and Nana lived in two rooms in a cockroach, bed bug invested building (still there by the way). Most of the other families were in the same boat as us. We were poor (shared goodies, sometimes a Popsicle six ways, as well as colds, illnesses, etc.) but we were happy. 

There were no food banks and no breakfast programs for kids at schools (went to school most days with no breakfast), no help for single moms as you had to press charges against spouse (my mom was afraid of my dad so didn’t do so).

My mom struggled every day to see that we had some food. I saw my two uncles who were heroin addicts be arrested, choked by what at the time were known as Horseman (I think they might have been police, I was too young to understand fully).

There were kids who did get into trouble (theft or B&E) and went to reform school (six months or longer), and no slap on the wrist like nowadays.

To get to my point, why do people think we should pay welfare to drug users, use taxpayers’ money for drugs to revive them, take up the time of first responders to take them to hospitals (which are already worked to capacity), use ambulances that could/should be used for truly sick or injured people?

I am not a cold-hearted person. I think everyone deserves a second chance, give to food banks, donate to charities, etc. I have bought food for homeless people who have told me they are hungry, but think instead of being enablers to these people make them have some responsibility for their actions.

I do not make them stick a needle in their arms or snort powder up their nose, so how long does society need to pay for their bad decisions? As far as the clothes bins and people climbing in and dying while trying to perhaps find something useful to them, why aren’t places like thrift stores (who benefit from the articles in these bins) allowing homeless or low income families to come in and choose some free clothing.

In finishing, just wanted to let you know at least 95 per cent of the kids (even ones who went to reform school) from my area turned out to be good contributing members of society. But we were held responsible for our decisions (if not by our parent(s), police, or others in authority) and showed respect, which is lacking greatly these days.

Name withheld by request