Monday, February 18, 2008

More Addictions Truths From One Who Knows

Mr. Nelson, Hold the Presses!!!

I have been ministering in the DTES of Vancouver over a 24 year period since 1984, and have been intensely fighting for more detox and recovery facilities for the past 16 years. I am broken hearted over the total disregard for those addicted persons desperately wanting to escape from here. There has always been at least a 50 person detox wait list with now only 54 detox beds for 7,000 addicts. Basically there is no EXIT ROUTE out of here, because of the lack of Government funding for this tried and true method.

I noticed that Dan Rather's upcoming episode on Vancouver's DTES will be airing this week. From the clips I saw on Global Television it appears that you have only interviewed those who are in favour of the so called Harm Reduction INSITE safe injection site. I want you to realize there exists a large, and strong network of people, groups, and organizations down here, and throughout the Province, and Canada who are not in favour of this so called Harm Reduction, and INSITE. This network is working together to stop all the misery that has been caused by the spending of millions on these misguided efforts, while detox, stabilization, and recovery have been starved for funding.

Do you realize that 80% of the addicts down here are smoking crack, and not injecting drugs. This means a huge percent of our funding is being spent on 20% of the addicts who are still injecting not entering abstinence detox in order to quit.

Our Mayor, Sam Sullivan glibly says on your production that the 'old method' doesn't work, but let me tell you he is very out of touch with what is really going on in the DTES, and is just promoting what he thinks is a cutting edge idea that he¹s hoping will become his legacy, while ignoring that such so called Harm Reduction, safe injection sites are failing in Europe, and actually causing more addiction. As well, other statistics show that levels HIV, AIDS and HEPC have increased, not decreased. (Doctor Douglas Coleman, Vancouver Sun Newspaper, Fri., Feb.15th/08)

There are thousands of people who have recovered from addiction using the tried and true detox and recovery, and 12 step method throughout British Columbia, and many are working right down here in the DTES. Pastor, Bruce Curtis of the Union Gospel Mission is a former drug addict, as are many of their counselors, as well many of the recovery and detox program counselors at The Salvation Army are also former drug addicts, and as are a great number of people living recovered lives throughout B.C.

We have been fighting this so called Harm Reduction movement for a number of years, which many feel is just a move to legalize and regulate drugs, as once an illegal substance is used within a Government funded project the first legal barrier is broken. Dr. Colin Mangham PHD, Drug Prevention Network of Canada points out that Harm Reduction is being pushed as the only Pillar of a Four Pillar plan Canadians agreed upon as our drug strategy. Al Arsenault, former Vancouver Police Officer in the DTES for 27 years, and the President of The Oddsquad Productions, which has produced award winning documentaries (New York) about the DTES has been a constant critic of INSITE calling it 'Harm Production', saying, "The rich get treatment and the poor get Harm Reduction"

.Further research would have turned up that Gillian Maxwell spokesperson for INSITE is on the Board 2020 (The legalization of drugs by 2020). If you would have checked the columnists Joey Thompson, David Berner of the Vancouver Province one of our largest newspapers, and any number of newspaper and television reporters, you would have seen how fed up we are with this INSITE Harm Reduction farce.

You will be doing the addicts of the DTES, and our city a great disfavour, if you air a program which is as slanted and imbalanced as your promos appear to be. I strongly advise if this is the case that you to balance your report in these matters, or pull it, and replace it.

I sent a letter to all levels of Government this winter spelling out this deplorable multi million dollar misuse of public funds while addicts, especially women (with only 12 designated beds) who have waited weeks to get into detox, are then, because of the lack of stabilization beds turned out back into the street (where many women were picked up and horribly massacred by mass murderer Willy Pickton), while they wait 6 weeks to 2 months more to get into a recovery program anywhere in British Columbia, all because of the money squandered on INSITE and so called Harm Reduction. By airing a program slanted towards INSITE and Harm Reduction you will be further contributing to our already deplorable lack of real recovery facilities.

Yours truly,Pastor Gloria Kieler

Living Waters Mission782 E. Hastings St. Vancouver B.C.



Anonymous said...

Yes, it truly is very simple - although not simplistic. If you are addicted to ANYTHING the steps are - detox - stop using *any* mind altering drugs - and immerse yourself in treatment and support, preferably with those who have been there and have learned very well what recovery entails.

It is sad that so many inept people, who know nothing about addiction and/or recovery are messing around with human lives.

Begin with establishing treatment centres - where abstinence is the first step.

What a mess!

Jennifer said...

Go Gloria Go !!!
This is very refreshing. Very passionate and very worth further distribution than just the Blog.
I am so impressed - hat's off to you Gloria - Thank You for all you are doing. Continue to communicate your message, use good people like David and you will get the support and together we can make a difference. I have emailed you separately.
With respect