Saturday, November 7, 2009


Have you ever been in the hospital?

Did they give you happy juice?


Do you have the faintest memory of anything you said to your Aunt Tilly or the kids when they came to visit?

Could you give a royal visiting poop what went on around you when you were medically stoned out of your gourd?

Of course you couldn't.

Thus is exposed the lie that if we only give addicts drugs and drunks a little shot, then we can talk to them about treatment.

Utter pig swill.


The Harm Reduction Army has a new strategy in the relentless - and powerful - PR campaign.

We will admit that our mantra and mad mission is controversial, but our experts swear it works.

Oh, brother.

Harm reduction

Contentious, but experts say it works

For some substance abusers, abstinence is unrealistic so it is best to try to reduce the harm caused by substance abuse rather than focus on stopping the substance abuse outright

That's the headline and lead from an unsigned piece in today's Globe. Is this supposed to be an editorial? A news item?

Whatever it's intentions it is irresponsible in the extreme.

A newspaper, any newspaper, but especially a national rag like the Globe, carries with it a certain gravity, a centre of belief.

This article unattributed to any writer in particular (Oddly, that is the case in the print edition, while online the piece is credited to reporter Andre Picard.) says in print that Hard Production "works." It says that "experts" say that.

What experts?

Addicts? People who have worked with addicts for years?


Evan Wood is a quack pseudo-scientist at the university who claims with a straight face that "Harm Seduction results in healthier individuals and communities and, ultimately, offer the best chance of getting people with addiction problems treated."

O.K. Ev. Let's examine that.

Healthier individuals?

You give a junkie junk in the morning. In the afternoon he is back in the alley getting more junk. Now he's healthier?

"In the managed alcohol program run by Ottawa's Inner City Health Project, they give alcohol to alcoholics. Participants get one drink of fortified sherry per hour as a safer alternative to the Lysol, Purell and Listerine they guzzle in desperation on the streets."

So now that drunk is healthier?

Healthier communities?

Never in Canadian history have we had so many addicts on so many substances clogging up so many of our public highways and byways and hospital emergency wards and courts. Never have we had so much rampant breaking and entering of citizens' cars and homes.

Nice strategy. Yes, that's really working.

Getting people treated?

Do you hear anything when you're on happy juice?


What treatment?

I've just returned from four days at Manitoba's Behavioural Health Foundation, where for $50,000 a year per bed, they are turning over 100 addict resident clients into clean and sober citizens. Nobody is given wine or a pipe kit. They are given love and support and school and work and a gentle kick in the butt.

Here is my personal list of the most dangerous people in our communities:

Evan Wood

The Portland Hotel Society

Larry Campbell

Sam Sullivan

When the press, who should be asking tough questions, become aiders and abettors to these destructive people, we are in serious jeopardy.


Anonymous said...

David, you said you would be back with a vengance.

All three of your entries have a common thread. This thread runs through most of our lives every day. Bueacracy run amok. From special needs kids to translink to addiction. These idiots have created a system that ensures success will come slowly or never and they will have jobs for life.

Integrate special needs and they will learn.Allow students to fail.

erase translink. We already pay to many mayors and councilors. Take one E L E C T E D official from each municpality and let them spend the money available from the current tax pool.

Addiction cure? Seems to me an x smoker and an x drinker that without the will to quit I would still be smoking and drinking.
Treatment and help must be available and were until we decided to close Riverview. Someone thought that communities could do the job. Load of crap. The province simply downloaded the problem and not the funding.Make the province stop spending money on toys and silly roads ( sea to sky) and spend on the needy.

Anonymous said...

How the hell did you know I had an Aunt Tilly? I almost dropped my laptop when I read that, ha ha. And oh, excellent article.

Gerry Verrier said...

Hey David, thanks for coming out to Winnipeg. Your presentations to both staff and residents were well received by all! Keep[ up the good work!

Gerry Verrier

Anonymous said...

How about an update on the detoxification camp / treatment centre proposed by former MLA Lorne Mayencourt?

laniwurm said...

Lysol or Sherry? Hmmm... tough choice.

No serious proponent of harm reduction is suggesting that it's a replacement for treatment or that it's a method for getting people off drugs. Misrepresenting what harm reduction sets out to do doesn't make your case against it any more convincing.

Do you really believe that if the government shut down Insite and needle exchange programs that that money would automatically be put into more treatment facilities? That's not the government I know.

If more treatment facilities, perhaps like the one in Manitoba, is what you believe is needed, then why not make that case? If all the ink that has been spilled trashing the meagre harm reduction resources in existence instead called for more treatment facilities like the one in Manitoba the political will to make them a reality might have been mustered by now.

Anonymous said...

"If more treatment facilities, perhaps like the one in Manitoba, is what you believe is needed, then why not make that case? If all the ink that has been spilled trashing the meagre harm reduction resources in existence instead called for more treatment facilities like the one in Manitoba the political will to make them a reality might have been mustered by now."

The term "harm reduction" itself when used with addictions is an oxymoron....Keep using and killing yourself - but hey! you won't get aids or hep C. You'll just eventually die - one way or another - from the poison you are injesting/using. I have heard many discussions and interviews with the promoters of "harm reduction" where treatment is proposed, questions are asked as to why there is *no* so called fourth pillar, valid comments made from those who have changed their lives by attending a treatment facility.....
I've listened to a very succesful man who actually has run an effective treatment centre for years.........and he *comes* from the downtown east side. He gets *no* support from the government and so-called experts.
The replies/excuses go something like, "That is the old way - it doesn't work that way any more.........", etc. Too simple minded for these so called experts.

Nonsense! The way out of addiction is to stop the addictive behaviour - whatever it is. There are a lot of people making money on what has become an industry of enabling - regardless of what they call it.


Anonymous said...

June, I don't believe for a second that the reason treatment isn't being adequately funded is because all the money is being sucked away by harm reduction programs and facilities. If the current government were serious in their belief that treatment is a better option than harm reduction, they'd make damn sure that treatment-on-demand is available regardless if Insite gets shut down or not. The only pillar the Conservatives are interested in is policing. It's evident they don't give a shit about addicts, whatever their beliefs are.