‘Government Aiding Hard Drug Dealers’

‘Vancouver’s drug strategy has been a disaster. Be very wary of emulating it’: 

“Last week, Edmonton city hall voted 10-1 in favour of building not just one “safe consumption” site for drugs, but four of them — all within walking distance of one another in one of the city’s lowest-income urban districts.

“The decision was made despite the fact that more than 80% of Edmonton’s fentanyl-related overdoses are occurring in the suburbs — well beyond the reach of the new facilities. The move also ignores fervent pleas from locals, who claim that approving four drug consumption sites will be a death sentence for their already-chaotic and drug-ridden neighbourhood.

“And honestly, it’s hard to see how the locals are wrong. While the strategy of harm reduction can indeed save the lives of addicts in the short term, it can destroy communities if used in isolation.

“These unhappy results can be seen a province away. Vancouver is into its second decade of dealing with an injected-drug crisis. The city has been concentrating more and more services in its Downtown Eastside. The result? Everything seems to be getting worse

Homelessness numbers continue to rise. There were 2,138 homeless individuals in Vancouver in 2017 — compared to only 1,364 in 2005.
Theft and violent crime in the Downtown Eastside have gone up since 2002. And as an overdose crisis sweeps Canada, Vancouver is its undisputed epicentre. Even with teams of naloxone-armed paramedics addressing a nightly rush of overdosed drug users, more than 100 people have died of overdoses in 2017 — with most of these occurring within the narrow borders of the Downtown Eastside.

“And yet, all across the continent planners can be heard talking up Vancouver’s ‘success’ on the addiction file. 

 {These are the parasitic ‘experts’ who live comfortably off of the mess they are exacerbating…}

“They’re usually pointing to the ‘success’ of ‘Insite’, which was established in 2003 as North America’s first safe injection site…

“…There’s the oft-cited example of Philip Owen, Vancouver’s former conservative-minded mayor who became one of ‘Insite’s most fervent supporters…

“And ‘Insite’s supporters are right; safe-injection sites are good at what they do. But they really only do one thing: prevent people from dying.

It does not seem to reduce crime. There is slim evidence to show that it reduces overall addiction rates. And it certainly doesn’t lead to livable neighbourhoods filled with healthy people

“Safe injection sites are designed to do away with the most nightmarish aspects of injection drug use: Addicts sharing needles, using puddle water for injections, getting robbed after a fix, and dying of overdoses. A frequently cited 2011 paper in ‘The Lancet’ that studied ‘Insite’s success found a 35% decrease in the fatal overdose rate in the several blocks immediately surrounding the facility. And a 2009 review by Simon Fraser University criminologist Martin A. Andresen estimated that ‘Insite’ saves three lives per year

InSite (PHOTO: Dan Toulgoet – Vancouver Courier)

“But this is only one part of Vancouver’s drug story.

“For one, the drugs consumed at ‘Insite’ are “pre-obtained”, which is to say that are still purchased by users on the black market. With about 700 injections occurring on site per day, it follows that there is still a vibrant market for drug suppliers — the very ones now cutting their product with lethal doses of fentanyl.

“‘Insite’s own website says that

supervised injection facilities can help people quit drugs{Nonsense…}

— but the data proving as much is slim. The two major studies that ‘Insite’ references cover a limited time period, and only document an increase in admissions to detoxification. To date, there is no definitive, long-term data showing that Vancouver’s injection drug users are successfully getting clean and kicking drugs because of safe injection.

“Meanwhile, a 2006 ‘British Medical Journal’ study looked at the years before and after ‘Insite’s opening and found

no substantial decrease in the rate of stopping injected drug use”.

“While ‘Insite’ will provide referrals to drug treatment, they also aim to be “low barrier”. Site staff do not want to alienate patients by counselling or pressuring them to seek treatment {The drugs should only be provided on condition of entering treatment!}.

“A 2012 thesis, in which Simon Fraser University student Jennifer Vishloff interviewed ‘Insite’ nurses, mentions staff having to clench their teeth when encountering fresh-faced drug-users who were still entranced with the ‘excitement’ of the Downtown Eastside {A drug scene now facilitated by ‘Insite’…}.

Even though I want to tell them to ‘run out of there! It’s important that I give them a really good experience so that they come back and when they have their crisis … they come to us,” said one nurse.

“Another described assisting a drunk reveler with their first-ever hit of heroin {!?!}.

I didn’t feel comfortable signing them up because they definitely weren’t entrenched,” she said. “Yet at the same time they were intoxicated, which increases their overdose risk.”

Vancouver Downtown Eastside (Photo: MARK VAN MANEN — VANCOUVER SUN)

“Even for those who get into treatment, it is notoriously difficult to get clean on the Downtown Eastside. Anyone leaving detox steps back into a neighbourhood where their friends are users, all their neighbours are users, and where the whole machinery of the community seems to be geared towards injection drug use.

Nobody can go through recovery here, for the most part, it’s just not possible,”

Kate Gibson, executive director of WISH, a drop-in centre for survival sex workers, told the ‘National Post’ in 2014.

“Vancouver’s error was to see ‘Insite’s success, and to then allow the surrounding neighbourhood to be increasingly shaped by the philosophy of ‘harm reduction’ {The only ‘harm reduction’ is for addicts, not the unfortunate surrounding community. Addicts need to be institutionalized…}. For example, there’s the whimsically decorated crack-pipe vending machine. The city also dropped the Hastings Street speed limit to 30 km/h, to protect addicts who are unable to demarcate the road from a sidewalk.

“There’s also a city hall-funded “street market” that — despite organizers’ fervent claims to the contrary — is well-known by locals to be a brazen hotspot for stolen goods. There are now more than 170 ‘non-profits’ {All publicly-funded} clustered in an area of only a few blocks, all devoted towards supporting an increasingly-dense community of addicts. In a 2015 interview, longtime Downtown Eastside organizer Scott Clark referred to the growth of “a pipeline for vulnerable populations” that has become a

magnet over the years.

These service providers, and the government managers that keep funding these agencies, they refuse to look at the evidence that says putting these many vulnerable people in one building, in one community, is simply not healthy for anyone,”

said Clark, executive director of the ‘Aboriginal Live in Vancouver Enhancement Society’.

“The people who want to prevent more Downtown Eastsides all say the same thing: Do not try to address a drug problem by concentrating all your services on skid row.

You can’t just focus on harm reduction, you also have to focus on prevention, education and enforcement,”

said Tom Stamatkis, the president of the ‘Vancouver Police Union’, in 2016.

“Philip Owen would say much the same…

You just keep dumping money in, building social housing and filling it up with people from all around the region and the country … they all get chemically dependent, and it’s just more sales for the drug dealers,” he told the ‘National Post’ in 2014.

‘Health Canada’ is currently reviewing 10 additional applications for Canadian injection sites, including three from Toronto, two from Surrey, B.C., one from Victoria, one from Ottawa and one for a mobile site in Montreal.

“Neighbourhoods like the Downtown Eastside don’t happen by accident. Every community across Canada has addiction problems, but it’s only through years of poor planning that an out-of-control disaster like Vancouver’s starts to develop

“Before cities throw in their lot with the “Vancouver model”, it’s important to understand the very strict limitations of what has been accomplished there — and to vociferously avoid all that has been done wrong.”

–‘Vancouver’s drug strategy has been a disaster. Be very wary of emulating it’,
Tristin Hopper, National Post, May 12, 2017

Feature IMAGE: Tray of ‘supplies’ at the supervised injection facility in Vancouver, Canada. (AP/The Canadian Press–Darryl Dyck)

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/tristin-hopper-vancouvers-drug-strategy-has-been-disaster-be-very-wary-of-emulating-it

InSite (Photo: AP-The Canadian Press–Darryl Dyck)

COMMENT: “If anything, Insite is “subsidizing” drug dealers by providing free needles, thereby leaving junkies more money to buy the pusher’s product; and by increasing the number of first responders with tools specifically designed to save junkies from their self-induced overdoses, guarantying these junkies will remain “clients” for longer periods.”
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As a recovered addict and alcoholic I have to say this is the stupidest idea I have ever heard of. I can’t imagine my getting clean would have ever happened around something like this. This is a sad joke being played on the most vulnerable people around.

“These non-profits? I would love to see the “retained earnings” line on their year end financial report. Even if “0” you still have an entire industry of jobs supplying addicts. I guess the upside is that someone found a use for their Liberal Arts degree. I really hope the dealers have to the decency to say thank you for the repeat business.

“By the way, Methodone clinics don’t work either. What you end up with are people addicted to Methodone instead of Heroin or Coke…”
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“We have veterans that cannot get care after serving overseas in combat — there’s no money for them. There’s always plenty of money to help drug addicts that choose to stick a needle in their arm.

“Our priorities are terrible…”
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“Safe injection sites don’t stop the spread of HIV. They may delay infection for a week a month or two, but ultimately drug addicts will share needles and become infected. There is no happy ending to continued drug use.

“In the meantime, each drug addict commits hundreds of thousand dollars worth of property crime each year to feed the addiction. All the while, the drug trade leaves a trail of bodies.”
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“As a society we have fallen into the sewer. We have a health care crisis yet we take health care money and set up shoot-up sites for junkies. We even supply their needles yet, a diabetic needs to go pay for their needles… Drugs are illegal and we are using health care money to support users. We are nuts.”
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“I’d be pissed if my hard-earned tax dollars went to junkies shooting up “safely”. Never normalize drug use, it just leads to worsening problems. Absolute prohibition is the only way to go.”
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“How’s it working so far in Vancouver? … These users have a perfect opportunity to fix their lives with these clinics and it’s pissed away, along with a lot of money and resources. Put our medical supplies and personnel on people who need it more and deserve it, like seniors or cancer patients. Not to the dregs of society who only care about their next fix…”
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“The argument it saves money is a bad joke. The police presence, insurance claims by those that get robbed, the running of InSite itself, ain’t cheap. Worse is that these people’s lives are only marginally extended. They still die prematurely and often in very degrading and disgusting circumstances.

“Oh, and they reduce the spread of disease? Right… ’cause addicts always practice safer sex when they are high and out of InSite’s doors!

“Give me a break.”
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“My step-brother has been an addict for 40+ years. He’s wasted his own life. He’s hurt everyone around him repeatedly. He’s a drain on society every single day of his life. He has no intention of cleaning up and has no interest in working or paying his own way.

“He is a user of everything and everyone…”
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“Let’s not forget the lack of a positive contribution to Canada’s economy. Let’s face it, a junkie ISN’T holding down a full time, let alone part time, job that contributes to the nation’s GDP. It’s rather the reverse, a net drain on the productive surplus that allows society to pay for members who contribute less, if anything, to offset the cost they place on society.

“Nor do the ever-growing army of gov’t-funded workers whose labour is 100% dedicated to servicing the community of hardcore addicts. Same thing for the first responders whose time and efforts are increasingly diverted to dealing with disruption caused by the addict community.”
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“A thoroughly bad idea. I strenuously object to my tax dollars being spent to subsidize addiction.”
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If skiers were going over 20-metre cliffs for the thrill of it, expecting us to patch them together when they break and then going right back over the cliff again, I’d expect authorities to lock them up, too. For their own sake, and to spare caregivers the grief of having to deal with wanton self-destruction.”
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“These so-called sites are nothing more than the healthcare community empire building. Every time the needle hits the arm, physical harm is done and let’s not mention the mental damage that the drugs are doing to users. If there have been any success stories about junkies kicking their habit, they have been few and far between — more Left-wing virtue signalling without tackling the root causes of the problems faced by the users. What a f*cking waste of resources – enabling perpetuates harm FULL STOP.”

(PHOTO: Dan Toulgoet)

From 2014:
“In a city where talk of drug addiction typically includes discussion about the benefits of the ‘Insite’ supervised injection site, David Berner appears to be a lone voice in the wilderness with his belief in abstinence-based recovery programs.

No, actually there’s lots of us out there,”

said Berner in response to the suggestion he represents a minority view in how to break a drug habit in Vancouver.

“Berner, who lives in the city, is the executive director of the ‘Drug Prevention Network of Canada’ and runs addiction therapy groups at the ‘Orchard Recovery Centre’ on Bowen Island.

“On Feb. 19 {2014}, he will moderate a free public forum on drug addiction at the Hillcrest Community Centre that will feature four people who largely share Berner’s views.

“None of the panelists, he acknowledged, support the Insite supervised injection site as a method to help people on the road to recovery.

“The panelists are Brenda Plant of the ‘Turning Point Recovery Society’,
http://www.turningpointrecovery.com/
AnnMarie McCullough of ‘Faces and Voices of Recovery Canada’,
https://www.facebook.com/FAVORCanada/
addictions psychiatrist Dr. William Hay and Candace Plattor, an author and registered clinical counsellor.

They represent a tip of the iceberg,”

said Berner, referring to the many people working in prevention and treatment in Vancouver and the suburbs.

“The forum is billed as an opportunity to

hear and be heard on what addictions really are, how they work, what you can do to find real solutions and how your community is truly involved in the problem and the answers.”

“Although Berner said abstinence is the best method to break a drug habit, he pointed out that prescription drug alternatives such as methadone help with recovery.

“…We’re not saying you’ve got to go cold turkey, although that’s what I’ve known in my work. But there’s a thousand or million ways to get there. We just believe that most people don’t know they exist.”

“Berner, who is also a longtime film and stage actor, said he was “furious” when he heard news of the apparent heroin overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman…

“Hoffman’s death has highlighted the dangers of addiction and the need for drug users to seek help, said Berner, noting the 46-year-old left three kids behind.

“But ‘Insite’, he added, is not the answer.

You think giving a place for people to shoot up is helpful?” he said. “It’s not, it just keeps them in the game.”

–‘Vancouver forum touts alternatives to Insite’,
Mike Howell, Vancouver Courier, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

http://www.vancourier.com/news/vancouver-forum-touts-alternatives-to-insite-1.825785

Crack Pipe Vending Machine–InSite (PHOTO: Ben Nelms–Globe and Mail)

“In 2011, ‘Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’ launched a free crack-pipe pilot program that distributed 60,000 pipes per year in the Downtown Eastside, driving prices down. Previously, pipes could cost as much as $10 – a price many users were not willing to pay…”

–‘Crack-pipe vending machines a boon to Vancouver users’,
NADIM ROBERTS AND WENDY STUECK, Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 09, 2014

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/crack-pipe-vending-machines-a-boon-to-vancouver-users/article16769973/

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