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Monday, January 9, 2012
Extremist wants another safe injection site
Front page of today's province declares "Advocate wants second insite." He's not an advocate, he's an extremist. In fact, he's a murder. Oh but he's with a group the extremists cry. Yeah, what group? The group that runs insite. No kidding. Well that's simply a conflict of interest. The group that runs insite wants another one to profit from. That's like a medical doctor getting a kickback for prescribing methadone without ever reducing the dosage.
Drug addiction is like a forest fire. The more we feed it the more it consumes. The fact that the operator of insite claims we need more safe injections sites is proof their little pilot project failed. They haven't reduced the amount of drug addicts on the street, they have increased them.
There's a forest fire raging across the country. It started in East Vancouver and is spreading across the province. Prince George, Dawson Creek, Kelowna, Vernon, they're all getting consumed. Does anyone care?
The Hells Angels profit from the drug trade. They use violence to control it. Then they use violence to expand their drug trade into smaller communities that are easily intimidated by a big city gang. Insite is supporting the Hells Angels profiteering. Expanding it is wrong, wrong, wrong. We need to put the fire out not pour gasoline on it.
During the Vancouver Occupy movement, a young woman died of a heroin overdose. What did we do about it? We gave her a clean needle to kill herself with. Courtesy of the Vancouver "Health Authority." Now that is an oxymoron. This heath authority has nothing to do with health. It just feeds death and destruction.
If there was a fire raging through an old growth forest like Clayoquot sound, we'd be outraged. If some wacko kills a bunch of sled dogs, we are infuriated. Why is it that we not only don't care when human lives are lost, we assist in their murder? These are human being we are killing. As precious as a sled dog or old growth tree is, these people we are killing are even more important.
Forget harm reduction, let's have dope reduction instead.
Sick of watching people die.
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Thanks so much for this great post. Insite is now much more than a room to inject drugs, they are multiple floors of expanding withdrawal treatment, on-site re-hab., and longer-term stays. Once started, the funding has rolled on in, and they are going to be huge one day. Not saying they don't have their place, but it's interesting to watch the non-profits just grow & grow...ReplyDelete
One day @ Insite, you'll see a row of beautifully wood-panelled offices, with Aero chairs & big plants, and $150K/year to start...
Speaking of wood paneled offices at Insite, it breaks my heart to see so much money get poured into East Van only to be sucked up by con men leaving the disadvantaged, still taken advantage of. Like throwing away $2 million of money for social housing directly given to the Hells Angels. It really is a crime.ReplyDelete
Wrong on both counts. I do have some knowledge about the gang war and I do care deeply about the addicts. I'm not saying arrest the addicts, I'm saying arrest the drug dealers who sell drugs in public. I'm referring specifically to crack and meth. However, if an addict is a prolific offender and has committed a huge number of property theft related crimes, then I think he should be incarcerated for three months without any crack. I believe that would be in the addict's best interest. Right now Insite feeds the gang war and destroys people's lives by increasing the number of addicts on the streets. I do not support my tax dollars going to support it.ReplyDelete
I don't really understand how you can say that a program created to treat addicts, and give them safe harbour, creates more addicts than it helps. That to me is plain ignorance. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON THAT CARES ABOUT THE SUPPOSED "WAR ON DRUGS" !Delete
I would like you to give me a legitimate reply on how Insite especially feeds the "gang war" and how them helping the myriad number of addicts living on the downtown east side destroys peoples lives. Really.
For that matter, I want to know how free crack pipes given out in response to rampant infections among the crack smoking populace is not in our best interest either. For some reason a gov't run health care system wants to increase the number of hepatitis and HIV patients in the country ?
I don't like crack either, or the people who push it for that matter, but you can't go to war with the only people really truly trying to give people their humanity back. That's cowardly and unconscionable.
and finally, the drug war (the war on drugs), and the gang war are two different things, one stemming from the other. Please don't make me explain how a prohibitionist state merely creates a profit boon for organized crime the world over, not just the red & white.
These gangs don't sell drugs for ideological reasons, they're not terrorists. It's for the money. If it wasn't so profitable they'd go back to selling stolen motorcycle parts and guns. The problem is there are a whole lot of people caught in between these two warring factions, and they are the ones that truly suffer.
Don't be so moralistic, and get off your high horse already, no one wants to hear about Agent K's ego anymore...
I've already explained it. You're not listening. As always when someone disagrees with an extremist who supports handing out free crack pipes at the taxpayers expense they start yelling and claim to be of a superior intelligence than anyone else with a moral conscience who disagrees with them. When I say moral conscience I make absolutely no reference to religion. I mean how most of us deep down know that murder and stealing is wrong. Kinda like how pushing someone out of a hotel window for a drug debt is morally wrong. A moral conscience supports social justice. It doesn't support genocide.Delete
However, since you asked I will again reiterate how Insite fuels the gang war. First, it promotes addiction by making everything public and readily available. The fact that they want more safe injection sites is proof that it does not reduce the number of addicts on the street it actually increases them. The real reason it fuels the gang war is because whenever you have a safe injection site or a needle exchange, you have drug dealers selling drugs outside it. When drugs are sold underground it is slightly contained. When they are sold publically, it gets completely out of control like a forest fire.
Historically, when a needle exchange opens up in a town, drug dealers move in like flies on you know what. You can't really arrest someone for selling heroin if you are handing out free needles or providing a safe place for addicts to use drugs. That is the inherent problem. Police allowing drugs to be sold publically out side the Carnegie centre or near needle exchanges and safe injections sites. Enforcement is one of the four Pillars. Yes there are Four Pillars not just one.
Next comes the crack dealers. As soon as you let drug dealers sell heroin beside a needle exchange or a safe injection site, the crack dealers swarm like flies on you know what. You can't really arrest someone for selling crack when you are letting them sell heroin. Oh contraire. You can arrest anyone for selling crack, meth or heroin in public. Forcing them to go underground means the forest fire is still burning but it isn't as out of control as when the fire burns above ground with heavy winds feeding it.
Victoria is a prime example but it's not the only one. The same thing is happening in most small communities across the province. Handing out free needles at the Vancouver Occupation was wrong. Take two streets for example. On one street you hand out free needles. On then other you hand out fliers for detox programs and centers. If you're sitting on the fence and you get depressed because of the insane amount of homelessness the Campbell government has created, and someone puts a needle in your hand, what will that encourage you to do? The "Health Authority says it's OK so I guess it must be OK. But it's not and the "Health Authority shouldn't be saying it's OK. We need to stop pouring gasoline on the forest fire because it clearly is making the Hells Angels rich. Handing out free drugs at the taxpayers expense is NOT the answer. The New York Model is. I saw it work.
if you're thinking strictly along financial lines, insite does make sense. If you factor in how much money it costs to treat a patient with HIV/AIDS, or a patient with Hep. C virus, or both, it pays to provide junkies with clean gear. It's not just the junkies your tax dollars are treating with antiretrovirals either, since these pathogens are opportunistic and don't consider socio-economic status when being transmitted from a drug user to a non-user. You can find some interesting stats about HIV related costs here: http://www.gpiatlantic.org/pdf/health/costofaids.pdf , and some numbers here for HCV: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1478-3231.2011.02722.x/abstract .
Health Canada also has provided some excellent info about insite, including cost to benefit analysis here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/pubs/_sites-lieux/insite/index-eng.php . While I'm on a roll, here's one more final link about drug related property crime in BC: http://www.vandu.org/documents/bcdrugfactsEconomicFactSheetdec92008.pdf .
When harm reduction policies are applied, policing services can be shifted from attending to disturbance calls and utilised for more important matters and EMTs are be better able to serve the community instead of using a shot of Narcan to scrape some poor junkie off an East Hastings Street sidewalk. Even the stiffest, most staunch conservative thinker can wrap his or her head around that sort of thing being a better usage of tax dollars.
Now, if you want to contend that the New York model worked, dig in, but as far as I'm concerned, cleaning out ghettos of already marginalised people to bring in lower crime statistics to wave around isn't exactly a success. Well, it is if you're a middle management cop looking to get a reach around after years of providing top bosses with analingus. Politicians get re-elected, and big wig cops get promotions over such statistics, so it's not too big of a stretch to imagine that there might be a little creative accounting happening.
Giving a junkie a dose of dope, clean gear, and a safe place to use the drugs is financially much cheaper than what the myriad of services used to deal with the criminalisation of hard drugs swallows up. Let's also not forget that per capita, there are really very few IV drug users. If we were to corral them together in a supportive community, keep them safe and disease free, we'd all benefit.
Now, if you just hate the idea of insite based on some moral superiority you feel over drug users, just say so, because your tax dollar argument holds no water. Saying you care about drug users while inhaling, then exhaling that a three month term in the already overcrowded jails would help is the same kind of confounding logic used by Ebenezer Scrooge. Drug addiction is a social issue, which only overlaps with the criminal lifestyle because of Victorian attitudes toward drug laws. We've been throwing people in jail long enough to see it doesn't work, and nor does it make fiscal sense. I don't mind if you just hate junkies and don't give a shit about them, but knowing that it's cheaper to provide health care for them vs. jailing them, the next time you post some right wing drivel about erosion of personal rights, take the time to see the hypocrisy in that attitude.
The more I think about police resistance to decriminalisation, the more convinced I become that drug users make easy targets, and thus make for good statistics, which makes for bigger bonuses and pats on the back for the higher-ups. Without legions of living dead doing the march to the garbage can behind the Carnegie building, and the vultures there to pick the bones, VPD loses a large part of its ability to generate positive stats when required. Same thing goes for other policing entities. Meanwhile, the killers and the torturers roll around town in Benzes and Bimmers.
The real crime is that we're taking the wrong approach to this entire issue.
I don't oppose insite because I think I am any better than any drug user. I oppose insite because I care about the drug users and I don't support their assisted suicide at taxpayers expense. You need to get over your cop obsession. It doesn't sound healthy. The New York model worked. They cleaned up the deuce and they didn't do it by handing out free crack pipes.Delete
You're already paying for them to kill themselves, it's just that you're paying for them to die a slower, more painful death.Delete
You pay a portion of your taxes to fund treatments for every addict that carries HIV or Hep C, as well as emergency services for ODs and victims of violent crime.
You pay every month for auto and home insurance, and depending where you live, you'll pay more because of drug related property crime.
You pay their welfare cheques, which they're entitled to, since they're sick with Hep C or HIV and/or other complications related to unhygienic IV use.
You pay to feed, clothe, and house their kids, and you'll likely end up paying a little when some of those kids develop addictions, and your kids will also foot the bill.
You pay when communities are targeted by gangs and your property values drop.
You pay for police efforts to plug the hole in the dam with their fingers, while operating under unrealistic expectations to do so from public interests.
We all pay, K. Some of us would rather be paying to work towards a point in our social evolution in which addiction is a thing of the past rather than to continue to use a system that encourages wealth through organised crime.
And if you're not a cop, I'll eat my shirt. My best one with the guitars embroidered on it. The tip off is that I've seen you make perfect sense on some stuff that isn't crime related, then you'll go all Gilligan on us readers and toe up to the company line whenever you write about drugs. You avoid replying specifically about stuff which refutes your use of flawed logic, and you riff on bad cops in a way only Johnny Law could dream of.
When I was a kid, I asked a cop once what his beef with weed was, when he knew that booze causes much more problems despite its legal status.
"Because it's against the law." was his response, no doubt practiced in front of a mirror late into the night until a permanent stupor set in.
You respond the exact same way. It's not so much conviction in your voice as it is the same insincere droning a kid reciting bible verses would put on.
Now admit it- there's a huge difference between flushing out a dirty hood to make way for inevitable gentrification, and the hyperbolic claim that they've “cleaned up NYC”. Anyone with oxygen flowing to their brain knows there's no toilet big enough, nor police truncheon ever manufactured capable of such a mighty reckoning. You can claim it all you want, but a smart fella named Luis Bettencourt came up with a formula which accurately predicts that each time a city doubles in size, violent crimes will increase by 15% on average. NYC is just too big to be cleaned up. The heat may have pushed some crooks into different neighborhoods, but I guarantee the crime is persistent.
Remember the downtown East End pre-Expo’86? Bennett’s greasy fuck cronies bought up the slums knowing that once Expo came, property values would jump. They plowed down a lot of the old eyesores and pushed the unwashed masses a few blocks closer to Burnaby. They built high end condos and wealthy China moved in. They didn’t clean up the East End, they cleaned up on the East End. You’re being delusional if you think NYC, or the small corner of it you claim as a success is any different, because they weren't handing out free crack pipes when they tried to sanitise the East End either.
I guess we just disagree on our definition of social evolution. You don't have to eat your shirt though. I'm not sure why you are so sure I'm a cop. I don't just go off on drugs. I also go off on 9/11, the Bush family and the CIA's involvement with drug trafficking. If you look carefully there's a consistent madness to my method. I guess the shocking thing is that although we totally agree on something like Harper, we disagree about hard drugs. I have no problem with people smoking or selling pot. I think it's outrageous the Hells Angels will beat the life out of someone for selling pot if they don't sell it for them. I think mandatory minimum sentences for growing pot is insane. I'll talk more about New York but have a few errands to run. Cheers.Delete
Well said Shaun!!Delete
I guess the difference is that you're willing to say one thing and mean another, which is the hallmark of conservative thinking. You're uptight about tax dollars being spent to help out a few sick poor folks, but you want tax dollars to fund half of federal employee's retirement at the detriment the entire economy. If that's not some baked thinking I don't know what is, and I get baked an awful lot.Delete
You bitch and complain about drug related crime and the people who make money off of it, but you don't want to actually do anything to stop the problem. Here's some news for you: you will never stop people from wanting to get high. As long as there's a demand, there will be suppliers. You can either regulate those drugs and deal with the problems head on, or you can criminalise them and allow criminal groups to regulate. Clicking your heels together and wishing the problems away just ain't gonna happen. Locking up every known dealer, enforcer and addict won't solve the problem because there will always be people willing to take the risk for the great reward criminalisation brings about. When the US repealed prohibition of alcohol, it stopped bootlegging and illicit production of booze. Even though alcohol's readily available, most people are able to use it with very little negative impact, and somehow as a society, we are able to deal with the downside of its use. There's no reason to believe that such a move with other drugs would have any other result.
The solutions are right in front of you. You can accept them and mind your business while allowing other people to enjoy their lives without the burden of having their liberties trampled by the expectations of others (a core conservative value), or you can be a hypocrite and continue to support criminalisation. There's no middle road here.
Have you googled RJ Reynolds tax fraud yet? Apply the same sort of idea to Purdue Pharma's Oxycontin and you'll see that the scariest crooks are the stiffs in suits who affect government policy with funding to political groups, and not the guys in patches.
You want to legalize all drugs. I disagree with that option and do not see that as a healthy solution to the violence. I agree there are many crooks in parliament, yet the Hells Angels are the ones poisoning our communities and filling them with violence. I oppose that and I disagree with what you claim the solution to be. That is all.Delete
Yes, it's true!!ReplyDelete
"Chronic alcoholics given free booze in Vancouver."
"Managed alcohol program shows promising results."
VANCOUVER -- In October the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and the Portland Hotel Society began a pilot program that serves 12 daily doses of alcohol — one every hour from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.— to eight chronic alcoholics living in the Downtown Eastside."
"Four months later there are some signs that the program is having beneficial effects, says Dr. Ron Joe, Vancouver Coastal Health's manager of inner city addiction."
"These are all individuals who have done the rounds of detox and all the conventional and available treatment," he said.
"All those participating in the study live there and are among the small population of chronic alcoholics that routinely show up in hospital emergency departments with serious injuries from falls or fights or unconscious from over-drinking."
Joe said it is costly for the medical system and some have "three or four visits to emergency a week."
"If we are going to provide health care to people, no matter what, then alcoholism is their condition and we should try to treat it. We have not been treating it well using conventional methods," he said."
"A couple of the group are talking about abstinence..."
http://tinyurl.com/7xyujpa (V. Sun)
But that's all they've accomplished, stopping some Emergency Room visits, and someone talking about abstinence in the future. But WHY give up booze, when its provided free and easy like this? Un-real! I used to have a serious alcohol problem, 'till I quit a long time back, so I know what I'm talking about, and this does seem wrong.
Why don't they see alcohol is poison, and they are contributing to poisoning these folks, giving them cirrohsis, many other alcohol-related diseases, etc. Goodbye to the Four Pillars strategy, as Agent K has pointed out.