Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Safe havens a smart idea?

    For 20 years, I battled heroin addiction, eventually becoming homeless and living on the streets of East Oakland. 
    I began my heroin addiction in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. I was a witness not only to the destruction and death that we inflicted upon each other, but more importantly to the living hell that I invited into my rapidly declining meager existence. 
    I spent endless enrollments in methadone detox clinics and countless hours with counselors, but I never received treatment at a rehab clinic with a bed to lay down in. Most say 30 days of rehab is the minimum needed.
    My escape from the abyss came one morning while I was lying in bed. I was struck by the realization that I still had many dreams for myself and goals to accomplish — my children and family to reconnect with. From that moment on, I became determined to join the 4 percent club.
    Only 4 percent of heroin addicts kick drugs, stay clean and become functioning members of society. The other 96 percent end up in prison or dead.
    San Francisco Supervisor David Campos’ proposal to build a safe injection facility where intravenous drug users can legally shoot up their illegal drugs of choice does not sit well with me.
    Enabling drug addicts to prolong and pursue their addictions while being sanctioned by the city of San Francisco is not leadership. What’s next? Safe sites for alcoholics? How about safe sites for people with anger management issues? Perhaps we can pair them up and let them battle with each other.
    The last thing anyone, including me, looked for when using, was a safe place to shoot up. Supervisor Campos should invest taxpayer’s time and money in rehabilitation centers with beds, counselors, education and support systems. Telling drug addicts it’s all right to use drugs benefits only prisons and funeral homes.
    If Supervisor Campos wants to stand out in the city of San Francisco, how about saving lives? Step up to the positive and serious goal of saving drug addicts, one life at a time. 
    Make a devoted, honorable, moral and worthy investment in your city.

    Bruce Pelletier is a student at Laney College. E-mail him at 2014pelletier(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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