Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It Gets Bettery Every Day

This just leaked by my friend, Victor.


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.

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." Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi


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