Saturday, February 18, 2012

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

Chronic alcoholics get free booze in Vancouver

Early results promising: Better health and behaviour

It's all in the headline and the sub-header. You don't really even have to read the article on page 3. 

There's the professional photo of the sincere and completely deranged, deluded "helper," measuring out this hour's poison for her "clients."

She believes that she is doing something.

Hahahahaha...

I laugh to stop myself from crying so early in the day.

On Wednesday, I spent a few hours visiting one of the houses run by Turning Point, a residential treatment centre, operating in Vancouver and in Richmond for 30 years now. Addicts of every kind are arriving every day and leaving a month or so later clean and sober citizens. Brenda Plant and her team are tireless, knowledgeable and committed.

Cost?

$25,000/bed per year.

On Tuesdays, I do a little work each week on Bowen Island at a private clinic, The Orchard, where - guess what - addicts if every kind arrive and leave a while later clean and sober. Lorinda Strang and her staff are relentless and focused and funny and inspired.

Regularly, I am in touch with dozens of similar agencies, large and small, each doing beautiful human work aimed at helping people escape the nightmares, indignities and suffering of addictions.

Last night, I spoke for half an hour with a wonderful woman in Nanaimo - France Tellier of the John Howard Society - who has been building residential community treatment facilities for ages.

You will rarely hear or read about these good people.

But Little Miss Booze Dispenser is pictured on page 3, and, in the Courier you can read about the increase in overdoses at Insite. Of course, the lunatics who run this obscenity - completely missing or obscuring the point as usual - will tell you that they are saving lives.

Let's just say it out loud, together.

THE WORLD IS COMPLETELY MAD.

Life is upside down.

It's Cheshire Cat time.

The program of free Ford autos for car thieves starts next Thursday.

10 comments:

Robert W. said...

David, what used to be a joke about giving drunks free booze has now become reality. I don't even think the Monty Python boys could have dreamed up this one.

I would strongly encourage everyone to watch your excellent speech a few years ago, the first segment of which can be seen here.

Drew said...

Our city has effectively turned into a laboratory for human experimentation. You have to wonder why there's such a penchant towards keeping people enslaved by their substances, rather than helping them to walk free. But that's called "overcoming," and people who overcome can be very dangerous, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I almost feel like their isnt any hope for our younger generations. At 58 I am a dinasore my ideas are so outdated that I feel like the Marqui de Sade. Punish criminals. Prohibit drugs. Take drunks to the drunk tank and show them places to get sober.

OR

Give the addicts clean needles and supervised injection sites.
Give the drunks clean shot glasses and a supervised injestion site. Thank god Ive come to my senses.
13

Gary Marshall said...

Economart,

The alcoholics will get their preferred drug regardless, from noxious sources. These people cost the taxpayer enormous sums.

So a program that will dispense a drug to a drug addict is horrific because of what?

Will it do these people any more harm? No. Will it do less harm? Yes. Will it save the taxpayer some money? Yes.

Offending the sensitivities of a few persons is about all the detriment this program possesses.


If they would only do the same for cocaine, heroin, and prescription drug addicts.

Regards,
Gary Marshall

David Berner said...

Dear Gary Marshall,

You are wrong.

And you don't know the territory.

This measures are heartless and come from the arrogance of superior intellects.

This program and all the deficit ideas like it are deeply offensive.

David

Gary Marshall said...

Hello David,

I do know the territory. I have studied it for many years. Criminalizing drug addicts adds greatly not only to the woes of the addict, but also the population that must fund the addiction. The populace must provide homes to be broken into, people to be robbed, vehicles to be stripped, people to be maimed and murdered. They must provide hospitals and staff for these people to go and convalesce from overdoses and from the ill effects of the alternate substances ingested in use of the primary drug.

The costs to society of fighting a problem in the criminal domain are far greater than fighting it in the domain in which it truly belongs. Drug addiction is not a criminal problem. It is a medical problem.

So let the medical establishment deal with these unfortunate people in the manner in which they deal with those in torment and pain.

How have all these present and past efforts led to anything one might construe as victory? All I see are costs. Costs in murder, mayhem, medicine, courts, prisons, police, property damage. What has been the benefit of these enormous costs? Just give me one.

When you better understand the problem, you will better understand the solution.

Regards,
Gary Marshall

Gerry Verrier said...

Gary, if addicts didn't break the law to feed their addiction, they wouldn't be criminalized. Criminal behaviour is what it is, and I refuse to forgive that sort of behaviour because someone is willingly addicted. Yes, I said willingly. I've known several folk who were addicted, employed and quite able to pay for their drugs. But most I've worked with are not employed and in fact many never have been gainfully employed.

Do you know what it's like to be on the nod? Do you think it's easy to work when you're stoned out of your gourd? I suppose you'll want employers to make exceptions for adicts next.


I have seen what the medical community has done for these folks. The system treats them like lab rats and as a former addict, I will stand up and refute the idea of harm reduction as anything other than helpful.

I will also tell you that addicts, for the most part, contribute nothing to our society. They are takers who never give. Why are you okay with that? Why do you make it sound like we have it backwards? That the laws are somehow at fault for people being addicts. Do you honestly think their anti social behaviour will go away if we eliminate the laws that make theft and gun crimes illegal? Are you prepared to deal with the deaths that will come about from inexperienced drug users who decide to dance with heroin because it's suddenly available in a clinic for free?

I really don't think you understand addicts. Go spend some time with them on the street and in a treatment center and get a sense for how entitled they are and for how criminal their thinking is. Of course not all are that way. But I think you will find most are. I hate to break it to you, but the medical system does not deal with criminal thinking.

I've been working with addicts for 25 years. I continue to have faith in their abilities and desires to be productive community citizens. They respond to those expectations.

As a citizen of this fantastic country, the idea of giving them drugs and paraphenalia so they can continue to be who they are sickens me and tells me you would rather let them have their way at a cost to our communities than to expect change. Expectations for change cost money as well.

When someone breaks into my car, it is a crime. When someone robs an elderly person, it is a crime. When someone neglects their children in order to stuff shit in their veins, it is a crime. When someone sticks a knife in the ribs of a gas station attendant to get their next fix, it is a crime. And you would rather forgive all that? Or do away with the risk to society by giving away free drugs and booze? Because it's cheaper? Wow is all I have to say.

Gary Marshall said...

Hello Gerry,

I see. So you criminalize their behaviour and then marvel that they break the law to feed the addiction. You marvel that they must thieve, attack, and lie to obtain their drug of choice. You marvel that they do not contribute because they must expend all this energy to acquire the means to get the drugs they desperately need.

It seems like you have set them up for a life of crime by interfering, doesn't it? And why do you interfere? Because you think it wrong for one so hopelessly attached to some substance to consume it. You just don't like the behaviour. It sickens you. You don't understand it, therefore you condemn it and them.

How very sensible! Why feel differently with anyone with a medical or psychological condition? Why give anyone in distress drugs of any kind? Why give them to schizophrenics? Perfectly logical, isn't it?

And if we give them the drugs, you argue that this will kill more of them?

I see. So if the state gives them a safe source of drugs and instructions on their use, more will die than if they must continue to obtain unsafe supplies from the street with little instruction.

Now that's priceless.

I do not understand addicts. In order to understand why they do what they do, one must expend exorbitant amounts of time gaining their trust by speaking with them. I don't have that time. Nor does anyone. Not even the state, thought it will expend enormous sums pretending to do some good.

That's why I advocate giving them the drugs that they find insatiable. Only they have the answers. Only they can solve the problems. Until they request help, I can live in peace knowing they won't break down my door and smash up my home in the search for a few dollars to feed their addiction.

Gary Marshall

Gary Marshall said...

Hello Gerry,

I see. So you criminalize their behaviour and then marvel that they break the law to feed the addiction. You marvel that they must thieve, attack, and lie to obtain their drug of choice. You marvel that they do not contribute because they must expend all this energy to acquire the means to get the drugs they desperately need.

It seems like you have set them up for a life of crime by interfering, doesn't it? And why do you interfere? Because you think it wrong for one so hopelessly attached to some substance to consume it. You just don't like the behaviour. It sickens you. You don't understand it, therefore you condemn it and them.

How very sensible! Why feel differently with anyone with a medical or psychological condition? Why give anyone in distress drugs of any kind? Why give them to schizophrenics? Perfectly logical, isn't it?

And if we give them the drugs, you argue that this will kill more of them?

I see. So if the state gives them a safe source of drugs and instructions on their use, more will die than if they must continue to obtain unsafe supplies from the street with little instruction.

Now that's priceless.

I do not understand addicts. In order to understand why they do what they do, one must expend exorbitant amounts of time gaining their trust by speaking with them. I don't have that time. Nor does anyone. Not even the state, thought it will expend enormous sums pretending to do some good.

That's why I advocate giving them the drugs that they find insatiable. Only they have the answers. Only they can solve the problems. Until they request help, I can live in peace knowing they won't break down my door and smash up my home in the search for a few dollars to feed their addiction.

Gary Marshall

David Berner said...

Dear Gary Marshall,

Like Rush Limbaugh, you are a big fat idiot.

Gerry V. is a recovered addict. He has been clean and sober for a great many years. He works every day with other addicts, helping them in their efforts to become and stay clean and sober.

He understands addicts more than you ever will.

How comfy for you to sit on your ass and theorize from on high.

You are not wrong. You are not mistaken.

You're an idiot.

And a destructive one at that.