Monday, January 30, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

UPDATE


Snow in Vancouver!
Chilled Vancouver commuters faced their second day of winter hell today, as an additional ¼ centimetre of the peculiar white stuff fell, bringing the lower mainland to its knees and causing millions of dollars worth of damage to the marijuana crops. Scientists suspect that the substance is some form of frozen water particles and experts from Saskatchewan are being flown in. With temperatures dipping to the almost but not quite near zero mark, Vancouverites were warned to double insulate their lattes before venturing out.

Vancouver police recommended that people stay inside except for emergencies, such as running out of espresso or biscotti to see them through Vancouver 's most terrible storm to date. The local Canadian Tire reported that they had completely sold out of fur-lined sandals.

Drivers were cautioned to put their convertible tops up, and several have been shocked to learn that their SUV's actually have four wheel drive, although most have no idea how to use it.

Weary commuters faced soggy sushi, and the threat of frozen breast implants. Although Dr. John Blatherwick, of the Coastal Health Authority reassured everyone that most breast implants were perfectly safe to 25 below, down-filled bras are flying off the shelves at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

"The government has to do something," snarled an angry Trevor Warburton.  "I didn't pay $850,000 for my one bedroom condo so I could sit around and be treated like someone from Toronto.

Monday, January 23, 2012

SUPERB COMMENTARY







Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "DRUNK PSYCHIATRY":

Most people don't understand that psychiatry is not based on science but on theories that are never proven in any accepted scientific manner. Their theories cannot be proven in any literal way. It's all just in their heads. Seriously.

And in our twisted system of law (it's a 'lawyer system', not a legal system), psychiatrists are paid obscene sums to opine on anything without a single shred of evidence except "their opinion". They are hired guns for the law courts, and for the pharmaceutical companies, virtually all of them.

Stay far away from these pretenders and parasites, and before you take "grandma" to the shrink because she's "losing her marbles", check to see what drugs her doctor has been pushing... ahh, I mean prescribing, for her. It might just be that the drugs are responsible for memory loss, confusion, dulled thinking, hallucinations, and a whole lot of other very undesirable things, including death.

These days psychiatrists are making out like bandits declaring seniors incapable and helping the government to take over their assets. These can be, and often are, the very same doctors who are prescribing these meds. They'll never even consider (or admit) that a drug's side effects could be causing the mental meltdown of a person. Beware.

Information is power they say. So before anyone of any age takes any drug that a doctor prescribes (or gives you from the samples from his/her desk drawer left by drug salespeople), educate yourself. Don't buy the pap being shoved at the public by govts or by the mainstream media, do some research yourself and use your noggin.

The best source of pharmaceutical drug side effects and warnings was established by Ralph Nader in the 1990s when Big Pharma began to swamp the marketplace with a plethora of new products:

www.worstpills.org

There is no better source of credible information about the risks of specific pharmaceutical drugs. This website has a gigantic database of every pharmaceutical drug. They also have an exemplary track record in calling for warnings and bans of dangerous drugs well in advance of FDA action.

They ask for a whopping $15 per year to subscribe for full services, the best investment I ever made, that dollar a month.

But even without being a subscriber, you can get a whole lot of very important, even life-saving information from www.worstpills.org Protect yourself from doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and Big Pharma. We're all at risk, in their hands.

DRUNK PSYCHIATRY

The only people left on earth who think that drinking is still a good excuse for killing other human beings with a vehicle are called psychiatrists.

They are paid to enter courts of law and convince stupid and irresponsible judges that Mr. Drunk Killer has a sovereign right to remain at large amongst us.

How else are we to understand this latest local example of this endlessly repeated tragic and sickening scenario?

Chronic alcoholic nitwit drives his truck into a restaurant and kills two women.

Not one BUT TWO shrinks testify in court that the fool was not criminally responsible.

Why?

Cause the poor baby was suffering from alcoholic withdrawal, so he didn't really know which was was up.

Uh-huh.

He was put in custody for a short period and then released into the community.

I have said this before and I will say it again.

When this sick mother kills someone else, I want to see those two shrinks and the judge charged with criminal negligence and put in prison.

Of course, I  am delusional and that will never happen and just because I even entertain such thoughts the court can clearly see that I am not responsible for my actions.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

AS GOOD AS IT GETS


The following was sent to me by a friend who knows the DTES better than most.. This is just about one of the best pieces on the subject I`ve ever read.


Think back about 10 years when Vancouver's injection drug users all got together and created a lobby group - VANDU ….and people thought they were nuts. They lobbied for drug users rights and eventually they got it from the local politicians. Guys like quiet uneventful Philp Owen woke up and thought they could be viewed as a visionary if they got on board. The druggies were able to convince the locals that instead of being called DRUG ABUSERS they should be called DRUG USERS and eventually their lifestyle was accepted and they were called THE DRUG COMMMUNITY. All the while without having any desire to kick the habit, pay their share of the taxes, and contribute to society like the rest of us. They were able to convince some of the locals that DRUG INTERVENTION and DRUG ABSTINENCE were mean, nasty, and unrealistic goals. They could now continue to live off the rest of society without any guilt.

And many left leaning people got good paying jobs in Vancouver to service the drug community's every need. Millions and millions of tax dollars poured into the area without anyone monitoring the results. Politicians pretended to base their entire political direction on helping the poor addicted people but never really did anything significant to change the situation. That way their political careers flourished. (Libby Davies, Jenny Kwan, Jim Green, Mayor Larry Campbell, Philip Owen, etc.etc.)

As long as there were plenty of drug addicts kept around they could all keep their jobs. So any time there is a hint of changing the status quo they all get back together and get up in arms.

The majority of the public cannot relate to someone who is addicted to drugs such as heroin, pot, and cocaine because they don't have addicted family members or friends on the stuff. They don't understand that a heroin or cocaine addiction which is an illegal substance is similar to a tobacco, prescription drug or alcohol addiction which is a legal substance. After all they are all similar drugs with similar effects. Some are injected. Some are smoked. Some are inhaled. And some are consumed. In order to kick the habit, on ANY OF THESE DRUGS, one does not have to be strapped down to a hospital bed for days on end monitored by medical staff like an Intensive Care Unit.

Drug treatment centres aren't fancy hospitals built like prisons watching the patients every move 24/7. Instead most drug treatment facilties are simply supportive housing where patients are free to come and go and where abstinence is preached along with group counselling. Nothing fancy. Nothing highly technical that requires a lengthy hospital visit. People can kick drug addictions in their own home.

The public can't really relate to a person addicted to illegal drugs but they can relate to someone with a tobacco, prescription drugs, or alcohol addiction because they are more likely to have family members or friends with these problems. They may even have this problem themselves.

Getting back to the story of the Free booze lounge in the skids…. Vancouver Alcoholics, with help from the poverty pimps, are trying to do what the drug users did a decade ago. They are organizing themselves and are demanding a steady stream of free booze everyday of the week. This is another new industry where many jobs could be created.

This time they are not getting the same look from the public. Many of us personally know people that have a problem with alcohol. We think that it is ridiculous to think that we would reward people like Uncle Harold and Cousin Fred with free booze when we know they are just lazy slobs that want to party all night and sleep all day.

If we do give free booze to these people what is going to guarentee they are not going to continue to supplement their drinking with the mouthwash, shaving cream etc. at night?

Also if we start feeding people free booze is the public legally responsible once they leave the facilty and begin to cross the street while intoxicated. What if they leave the facililty go lie down in the alley and freeze to death? Are we now going to have to hire personal escorts or chauffeurs to make sure they return to their one room apartment?

Instead of Community GARDENS Vancouver could have Community U-BREW sites all over the city to feed the alcoholics.

If this keeps up… instead of having to go to work everyday to pay the taxes… some of us could spend the time fermenting alcohol and growing pot for their own personal consumption while living off the public teet.

As it is right now each year our TAX FREEDOM DATE is in June or July. That means that half of all the money we make goes to paying taxes so that the rest of society can live.

Let's get realistic….We all can't sit around and wait for the welfare cheque to roll in each month.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

MARRIED IS MARRIED


When one of my closest friends married his same-sex partner of many years, I gave a little speech.

Among other things, I praised the extraordinary country I live in. It's still called Canada.

Now I don't like to be made a liar or a fool.

Least of all by some government legal mandarin bone-head with WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS.

This clown belongs to that special class of bureaucrats we lovingly call The Meddlers.

When anything progressive or reasonable or simply good is running along just fine, thank you, one of these dingbats crawls out of the slime to raise some obscure objection found deep within article 11064-B rezi22M.

Put these men in little rooms out of harms way. Give them Lego sets and the Encyclopedia Britannica and send in food on occasion.

As for my gay married friends, fear not. This little tempest will soon crawl back into its tea pot and go to sleep until the next accidental outrage.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ANOTHER COMMENT THAT CALLS FOR ITS OWN POST


The writer, Gerry Verrier, is the Program Director of Manitoba's Behavioural Health Foundation. Now in its 41st year, BHF, has 136 beds for men, women, children and families and turns out clean and sober citizens every day of the week.

David,

Where are the safe cigarette smoking sites?? You would think that if there was an addiction, and nicotine addiction is one of the if not the most debilitating addictions, that required interventions and programs for people to stop so as to save health dollars and protect children and others from dangerous second hand smoke, it would be nicotine addiction.

What really kicks me in the crotch over this issue is the tax dollars most cigarette smokers pay. In 2007, 63-79% of what smokers paid for a package of cigarettes went towards provincial and federal taxes. 63-79%, for pete's sakes! (http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/smoking/cost.html)

And what do smokers get for their tax dollars? They are ostracized, they are forced to look at disgusting photos on their cigarette packages, they must hide in alleyways and laws have been created that prevent smokers from even smoking in their own cars should the cars contain minors. People complain about cigarette butts on the streets, but what about the chewing gum that literally coats sidewalks? I've seen the steam machines the city of Vancouver has out and about with the sole job of cleaning gum off sidewalks.

Smoking cigarettes is not illegal. Buying cigarettes is not illegal. Selling cigarettes is not illegal with the proper licenses (another form of taxation). But somehow smokers are stigmatized and there is a national taxpayer-funded campaign to stop people from smoking.

But hey if you use heroin, our society will provide you with nurses and doctors and places where you can freely use those illegal drugs. You will even get free drug injecting/smoking paraphernalia. If you're a drunk, they want to provide you with free booze. If you smoke crack cocaine, the most destructive drug to hit our communities, there are taxpayer-funded vans and nurses that will bring you free kits that will make it easier for you to smoke crack.

What taxes do crackheads and junkies pay? Why are tax-paying cigarette smokers treated like shit while thieving junkies are provided with everything to continue with their sorry existence?? Why not employ the same techniques used with cigarette smokers with junkies? Where's the national campaign to stomp out heroin and cocaine addiction?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It Gets Bettery Every Day


This just leaked by my friend, Victor.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Iconic Canadian company, Tim Hortons, has announced a program geared to fighting the obesity epidemic in Canada.

The company will establish "Safe Fat Rooms (SFRs)" at selective locations in Vancouver. At these SFRs, morbidly obese Canadians will be welcome to enter, pull up two or three chairs, depending on their condition, and indulge in an assortment of donuts from a perfectly clean plate.

Advisors will be on site (ONSITE) to refer SFR attendees to Steve Nash Fitness Centres. Proponents of this gut-wrenching initiative are confident that many users will actually wrench their guts from a chair and waddle over to see what a Steve Nash Centre looks like.

In a related announcement, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robinson has announced that "ultra-wide" bike lanes will be installed on Vancouver bridges to accommodate the "hugely"popular 3-wheel mammoth tricycles gaining favour among Vancouver's bulging population.

"Province" Coverage of the Free Booze story


‘Illicit Drinkers’ seek free alcohol lounge in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

By SAM COOPER, The Province January 10, 2012


Rob Morgan says when you wake up after getting blasted on hand sanitizer it feels like your kidney is bulging out of your body.

The longer you drink it, the more you see sparkling light at the edge of your eyes. That’s the first step in going blind from guzzling cheap illicit booze, the doctor tells him.

Morgan, a First Nations man from a reserve near Terrace, hopes to reduce the harmful impact of addicts ingesting cheap, illicit alcohol by landing funding for a peer-run drinker’s lounge.

The envisioned lounge would offer free legal alcohol in the Downtown Eastside.

Morgan and about 40 members of the Eastside Illicit Drinkers Group for Education see this as the next step in Vancouver’s harm reduction movement, like a supervised injection site, for illicit drinkers who typically ingest Listerine, hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.

Illicit drinkers can squeeze about 30 standard drinks from a 250 ml bottle of 95 per cent rubbing alcohol by diluting servings with water, experts say, for the cost of about $3.

Morgan says addicts will turn over their welfare cheques to illicit booze brokers, adding he sees “dealers” in the Downtown Eastside carrying large vats of hand sanitizer stolen from hospitals.

He says the damage done is easy to see in the Downtown Eastside and in cities in norther B.C. He knows a number of peers that have died from alcohol poisoning, freezing to death outside, or “getting shanked” in an argument stemming from the fast and powerful buzz that comes from illicit booze.

“I myself am one of the one’s that suffers,” Morgan said Tuesday in an interview. “Each one of us wakes up with those demons staring at us in our face, and that’s why we drink it.”

Started in July, Eastside Illicit Drinkers Group for Education has landed $52,000 in a research grant, with aims to gather clinical evidence across B.C. on the benefits of alcohol maintenance programs.

Within the next year they hope to produce research in order to help land a partner in the health care sector to fund a Downtown Eastside drinker’s lounge stocked with vodka, sherry and high-alcohol beer.

Advocates say at a cost of about $350 per month per drinker, alcohol maintenance programs can reduce policing costs and medical fees associated to frequent emergency room visits for illicit booze drinkers.

Morgan says there would be counselling, health and detox referral services provided at the drinker’s lounge, and the group would maintain a database to monitor outcomes.

“It would be members only because once word gets out it is free alcohol everyone that just wants a free drink would show up,” he said.

scooper@theprovince.com



UnBelievable, but True

Some addicts in the Downtown Eastside drink hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.

You may find the following article from the Vancouver Courier a mad flight of fancy.

But it is not.

It is copied directly from the paper.

The story is simple enough.

But try to get your head around it.

Group touts Insite-style lounge for 'illicit' drinkers

Plan includes free alcohol for the addicted




Some addicts in the Downtown Eastside drink hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.

Photograph by: Jason Lang, Vancouver Courier

Those who imbibe Listerine, hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol want a peer-run illicit alcohol drinker's lounge established in the Downtown Eastside.

"It's like an Insite [supervised injection site] for illicit drinkers," said Nicole Latham, community developer with the Eastside Illicit Drinkers Group for Education, or E.I.D.G.E., that was formed in late July through the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, or VANDU.

The more than 20 members of E.I.D.G.E. envision a program that would provide free legal alcohol to those addicted to using substances with low prices and high alcohol content that aren't meant to be ingested. They want the lounge to be peer-run and to provide referrals to other health services.

Alcohol maintenance programs have run in other jurisdictions for years. A medical student and PhD candidate from the University of B.C. is working with the E.I.D.G.E. group that meets once a week except following welfare Wednesday when few participants show up after receiving their monthly cheque.

Vancouver Coastal Health is running a pilot alcohol maintenance program for illicit alcohol drinkers that started in August. The Managed Alcohol Program operates at PHS Community Services' subsidized housing on Station Street.

Eight of 80 residents who are chronic drinkers that have relapsed after detox are given vodka, beer or wine every hour for 12 hours. They also received counselling.

MAP aims to reduce emergency room visits, encounters with police and the number of drinks each participant consumes.

Mark Townsend of PHS says the program costs roughly $350 per person per month.

"What that means if they're not going to the hospital once, we've saved the money instantaneously," he said.

Dr. Ronald Joe, medical manager of Inner City Addictions for Vancouver Coastal Health, said the program's most troubled client visited the emergency room every three days.

Some favour rubbing alcohol because it provides the highest alcohol content for the buck. Joe said clients can buy a 250 ml bottle of 95 per cent rubbing alcohol for $3, dilute and drink it for an equivalent of 30 standard drinks, say 30 beer or 30 servings of wine.

"Our worst clients are drinking two or three or four of these [bottles] a day, so we're talking about 120 drinks a day," he said.

PHS has operated alcohol maintenance programs in the past, but this is the first time a program has been run in a more scientific way that's based on clinical evidence with Vancouver Coastal Health and researchers from the University of Victoria.

Joe says participants appear, on average, to have reduced the number of drinks they consume by half and they've shifted from illicit to beverage alcohol. Their health seems to be improving and they are causing fewer disturbances for other residents at Station Street.

"The public- wants a quick fix," Joe said. "-We need to think of it in a completely different paradigm. It's a chronic disease, it's a relapsing condition and we need to better help people recover where they're at."

crossi@vancourier.com Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi





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Sunday, January 8, 2012

HARM REDUCTION Uber alles


Safe handguns

By Paul Schober, The Province January 8, 2012

Kudos to whoever came up with the recent plan to distribute safe crack pipes to the needy. But it got me to thinking - couldn't we as a society be doing even more to help?

Not the drug users. I'm talking about the deplorable and hazardous state of many of the handguns used by some of our most desperate citizens when they feel it's necessary to shoot someone.

Cheaply made and improperly maintained handguns can back-fire and explode, seriously injuring or even killing their victim (I mean the shooter here, not the tar-get of the gun).

I suggest we initiate a government program to replace dangerous pistols with well-made and properly maintained Canadian-made guns. After all, these people are going to shoot anyway, regardless of our personal disapproval of the activity and their choice of lifestyle.

Each government-issued pistol would be hermetically sealed and come with a warning label, as well as a pamphlet encouraging alter-natives to gun violence like yoga or vegetarianism.

Paul Schober, Vancouver

© Copyright (c) The Province


Thursday, January 5, 2012

DESERVES A POST OF ITS OWN


The following comment was sent in response to our postings of yesterday and the day before about harm reduction and abstinence-based prevention & treatment.

David, I grew up with an alcoholic father then an alcoholic step father. Then I was an alcoholic. I quit drinking 22 years ago. I have raised 3 sons one who was addicted to cocaine. If the do-gooders that want to enable drug users could have lived the hell my family endured with drugs and alcohol they might not be as keen to enable. My sympathy goes out to the eye and his infirm mother. My mom also just gets by. Because she isnt dead broke and because she is able to get about in a power chair she gets little or no help from the do gooders. When we sought treatment for our son it was available but it wasn't in our area. It took time and money for him to get treatment. If the do-gooders only knew the harm that they cause by enabling addicts and drunks they would stop.

To those that believe in abstinence keep up the good work. We live in a strange time. We allow governments to waste our money on so many crazy ideas that people with clear vision for recovery and treatment need to be heard.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

THE "PROVINCE" GETS IT RIGHT


Here in La la Land, there are only two journalists who "get it." Jon Ferry, columnist and editor at the Province newspaper and Mark Hasiuk columnist at the Vancouver Courier, regularly decry harm reduction strategies and write in strong support of abstinence-based prevention & treatment.

This is Jon's column from today:


When it comes to giving drug addicts taxpayer-funded services, there's a fine line between providing them with health care and enabling them to continue their destructive and unhealthy lifestyles.

Many Province readers clearly feel that the Vancouver Coast-al Health Authority has crossed that line with its decision to hand out free crack pipes in the Downtown Eastside.

As Province reporter Cassidy Olivier has noted, it's part of a trial program to reduce injuries to addicts' lips and mouths that can make them more susceptible to hepatitis B and C and even HIV.

The pipes will be included in 60,000 drug kits that are expected to be distributed over eight months. The health authority says this will help steer the crack smokers toward detox services.

Let's hope it does. Crack cocaine is a scourge on society and a major cause of crime and other human misery.

However, we're inclined to agree with the Drug Prevention Network of Canada, a national anti-drug group, that the public authority should focus much less on "harm reduction" and far more on drug treatment and prevention.

This, of course, is not a clear-cut issue. And we sympathize fully with health professionals who are anxious to save lives and curb the spread of disease in the notorious skid-row district.

Our view, though, is that one of the reasons why the Down-town Eastside has such deep-seated social problems is that well-intentioned but naive community leaders have not only allowed drug use to flourish, but even encouraged it.

Indeed, some go so far as to argue that our tolerant attitude toward drugs is one reason why Vancouver is such a great city.

But if it's so great, why do so many people seem to need to use them? That's the question we should all be asking.


You can write Jon a THANK YOU at jferry@theprovince.com

Monday, January 2, 2012

BLATANT PITCH


This morning I received no less than eight phone calls from the Mystic East.

Sun News Media, which has a TV viewership smaller than Langley township, is headquartered in Toronto.

Thus, several of these calls arrived to my thankfully silent phones long before eight a.m.

Each call represented one of several producers for various Sun talk TV shows.

'Sup?

Vancouver Coastal Health is giving out clean crack pipe kits to users, and that includes 12 year old girls.

You don't say?

Getting news from the shaggy West Coast to the Centre of the Universe must be more difficult in these winter months what with all the snowy passes and such.

I've got better news than that.

In my spare time, besides being a retired old goof who likes to walk to cafes and drink cappuccinos and read old fashioned books with paper pages and doing a weekly cable TV show (with more viewers here in the Forsaken Territories than all of Sun Media) and doing therapy with addicts and alcoholics and swimming and hanging with friends and family, besides all that stuff...I have a part time gig.

I'm the executive director (or Executive Director) of the DRUG PREVENTION NETWORK of CANADA.

We are a curious lot.

We cling to a quaint value system.

I know this will break you up, but we actually believe that, when it comes to drugs and alcohol, abstinence-based Prevention & Treatment work.

We believe this so much that we have been making ourselves into the voice for abstinence-based Prevention & Treatment in communities, in the media and in Parliament.

In the last six months, we hosted two terrific small conferences bringing front-line workers together for common cause.

Here's what makes us different.

The honorable men and women who are spending your tax dollars are giving out free crack pipe kits, free needles, free heroin to 322 addicts for three years ($8Million) and free booze to downtown rubbies. Not to mention running (at tax-payer expense) clean well-lit places where addicts can shoot up before they go back in the alley and shoot up a little later in the same old way.

At the DRUG PREVENTION NETWORK of CANADA, we have the audacity to want to see drunks and drug addicts go into treatment and come out clean and sober citizens. Imagine. We also want to see children encouraged to avoid the indignities and misery of a life in addiction. Crazy us.

Here's what I wrote to our colleagues and members organizations and individual supporters this morning:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We head into this New Year with fresh energy and determination to promote in all possible ways our shared beliefs in abstinence-based Prevention and Treatment.

Our hearts and minds may be full, but our pockets are nearing empty.

The DRUG PREVENTION NETWORK OF CANADA operates on a comically modest budget - what my mother would have called "windy pies and airy puddings."

We have no secretaries, no fax machines, cell phones, frequent flyer miles or the like.

So we ask you once again to become a full-fledged member. That's $200 a year for like-minded organizations and $50 a year for individuals.

Now it is easier than ever to JOIN US. We have added PAY PAL and or CREDIT CARD subscriptions to both our website and our blog. Strength is in numbers. We need you to be added to our growing list of groups and people who know that Prevention and Treatment work.

Please JOIN US today.

Perhaps you agree with us.

If you do, please JOIN US today.