And verily I say unto you...
That NAOMI begat SALOME
and SALOME was DISASTER.
It is a peculiar day today, a puzzling day.
The skies are clear and sunny here in Vancouver, but there is a deep dark cloud hovering over us all.
It is this:
Landmark heroin study set to begin in Vancouver
This very expensive and very sick madness is being hailed as something that will "transform lives" and "treat the root cause of homelessness on the Downtown Eastside."
It is the Silver Bullet that all the fools have been looking for lo these many unproductive, destructive years.
O.K. Enough with the rhetoric.
What is it?
SALOME is the Study to Assess Longer-term Opiod Medication Effectiveness.
In this so-called study, 322 chronic addicts will be given heroin and heroin pill substitutes at a private clinic.
This program is run by an organization that calls itself with no shame or irony the "InnerChange Foundation."
How does taking free heroin or a heroin replacement constitute "inner change?"
Inner change requires investigation and hard work and honesty and commitment. It is not an easy road. It is not found by showing up at a "clinic" once a day for your free fix.
A woman named Trish Walsh is the Executive Director of InnerChange.
Her qualifications are what exactly?
Her knowledge of addicts and addictions comes from what experience, please?
The people she has helped number how many and are named what?
But listen to Trish Walsh's voice of authority:
“This could revolutionize heroin treatment internationally."
By the way, this "treatment" - and it in no way qualifies as a "treatment" - is to run for four years.
And yet, as shams like this always do, this program throws in the little rider that
"While the long-term goal is to help the addicts get off hard drugs, in the short term, the plan is to get them away from the more dangerous and troubling aspects of heroin addiction, such as committing crimes, sharing needles and shooting up in back alleys."
No it isn't.
There is no demonstrable part of this project aimed at getting anyone off drugs.
It is entirely about giving addicts drugs in the mistaken and completely erroneous hope that that will alter the landscape...which, of course, it won't.
Ms. Walsh has also claimed that this magic act "would be a groundbreaking new treatment in a field where few options are available, especially in Canada."
What Walsh doesn't tell you is that this program will cost about $8 Million a year for the next four years.
In January I will go once again to Winnipeg to run a week of workshops with the staff and resident clients at the Behavioural Health Foundation.
At BHF, there are over 100 men, women and children who are resident clients. There is a 6 month waiting list. People are graduating every day at BHF from high school matriculation and University and college programs. Every one is clean and sober. The total cost of the program is less than $6 Million annually, which means that the individual cost is less than $50,000 annually.
When Walsh and her crew of mistaken pseudo-scientist lunatics backed by opportunist ex-politicians, when these ghouls hand out dope to dope fiends will they include breakfast, lunch and dinner? A roof over the addicts heads, clean clothes and bedding? Music, dancing, singing, group and individual therapy, swimming and hockey, concerts, laughter and tears?
No they won't.
But the Behavioural Health Foundation and Portage and Welcome Home and the handful of other therapeutic community programs and peer-group programs will do all of this and more.
You see, Walsh, there are other options in Canada. Not enough of them, yes.
But it's hard to get funding for real programs run by real people that really work for other real people when so much money is being given to hateful, detestable, mushy-headed obscenities like this latest atrocity.
Our Health Bill is our single largest line item in all our governments across the land.
So many legitimate needs are being ignored.
Seniors care, home care, child protection.
Yet there are the Sam Sullivans and the Larry Campbells and the others who can persuade governments and private benefactors to piss dollars down the drain on giving free narcotics to narcotic addicts, as if this is a new and untried idea.
As if this would add to the common weal.
It may be sunny today.
But for me, this is one of the darkest days I've ever seen.