|Social Welfare||DRUGS ARE A HEALTH PROBLEM NOT FOR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: PRIEST|
Rather than trying to "clean up" addicts, we should be directing more health funds towards dealing with the underlying mental health problems that lure people towards hard drugs, according to Fr Stephen Sinn SJ, parish priest of Kings Cross in Sydney.
Fr Sinn's tentative support of a government-sanctioned safe shooting gallery for heroin addicts rested on whether it would contribute to the prevention of drug use.
"The archdiocese has an open mind. It obviously has principles. The issue is what is for the common good here. Does is encourage a culture of taking drugs?" he told The Catholic Leader.
The tolerance room (or T-room) has been closed pending the outcome of last week's Government Drug Summit.
Meanwhile Fr Peter Norden of Jesuit Social Services in Melbourne said drug use should not be dealt with in the courts. "The critical situation is that the community has to redefine this area as a health problem, and not something that is dealt with by the criminal justice system," he said.
|1:19pm 24/5/99 / Catholic Leader|