By: Roszan Holmen, Victoria News.
When word got out through the media about a potential new needle exchange on Princess Avenue, a funny thing happened. All the voices of the activists for harm-reduction services got drowned out by a handful of neighbours.
Their outcry totally dominated public discussion. Over and over through the media, they asked: How could the health authority break its promise by considering a site so close to schools and families?
But where was the other side of the argument? Where were the demonstrators who marched in the street on the anniversary of the closure of the Cormorant Street needle exchange? Where was the mayor? Where was the police chief?
By Richard Watts, Canwest News Service (Published: Vancouver Sun)
Drug users could be offered addiction treatment and clean needles under the same roof in a proposal being considered by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
The authority is looking at using its addiction outpatient treatment office in downtown Victoria as a site for distributing hypodermic needles and other paraphernalia for illegal drug use, such as crack pipes and sterile swabs.
It's an idea the executive director of Cedars, a Victoria addiction recovery centre in, calls "absolutely insane."
Stand united; don’t wait for consensus.
This is the way forward when it comes to contentious harm reduction services, such as a fixed needle exchange site or a safe injection site.
Donald MacPherson, Vancouver’s former drug policy co-ordinator, brought his message to Victoria city council recently.
“Time is marching on. To do nothing is not an option,” said MacPherson.
By Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist (Published Vancouver Sun)
After two years without a fixed needle-exchange site, Victoria can't sit back and wait for health officials to develop an Island-wide distribution model, says Victoria Coun. Philippe Lucas.
"There's absolutely no reason and no excuse for us to wait for an Island-wide model to be put in place before this municipality takes action in trying to reduce the spread of disease and improve the public health of our region," Lucas said.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority is looking at a number of potential sites to establish an Island-wide distributed needle exchange program.
By Richard Watts, Times Colonist (Published Vancouver Sun)
Drug users could be offered addiction treatment and clean needles under the same roof in a proposal now being considered by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
The authority is looking at using its Addiction Outpatient Treatment office at 1250 Quadra St. near Yates Street as a site for distributing hypodermic needles and other paraphernalia for illegal drug use, such as crack pipes and sterile swabs.
It's an idea the executive director of Cedars, an addiction recovery centre in Cobble Hill, calls "absolutely insane."
Drug policy discussions often take the form of a binary: treatment versus enforcement. Carrots and sticks. This is however, a problematic and wildly uneven binary. Treatment is not a carrot. Treatment is a long and arduous process that, at its best, acknowledges the complex nature of addiction and recovery – a process that, once embarked on by the addict, doesn’t stop until the day they die. Enforcement ignores this complexity – violently.
By David Seymour, The Leader-Post
The front page of the March 9 Leader-Post reported the government can't even keep drugs out of prisons. Given that prisons are purposely designed to be secure, this news may be a good prompt for asking whether it's rational to try and prohibit cannabis from an entire country, which happens to be the world's second largest and the most sparsely populated. Regardless of whether it succeeds in preventing cannabis use, does the prohibition cure have side effects worse than the drug disease?
For the first time in more than a decade, Pat Bebonang has a key to his own place.
He had been living on the streets of Kamloops for the past four-and-a-half years, calling dumpsters and doorways home.
Before that, he spent his time couch surfing and living with friends.
For the first time in so many years, Bebonang is sober more often than not.
And the Henry Leland House, he says, helped him unlock his potential.
By MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE, The Chronicle Herald
Bundled up against a cold wind blowing under a grey, bare-tree sky, panhandler Gina clutched her cup of coins.
The troublesome path that led her to ask strangers for money on Spring Garden Road in Halifax was travelled with regret but resolve.
Gina said drug addiction is what led her downtown recently to beg for spare change.
Treatment for the affliction was helpful, before it was avoided. "I was on methadone for 7 ½ years," Gina, 48, said matter-of-factly. "I went off of it, which was the stupidest thing to do, and I got caught back up into it."
By Louise Dickson, Times Colonist
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has filed a complaint with the Victoria Police Board after Chief Jamie Graham ordered one of his officers not to speak at a local drug forum.
Const. David Bratzer, who does public speaking on behalf of the U.S.-based non-profit organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, known as LEAP, was asked to join a panel of speakers at a City of Victoria harm-reduction forum last evening, attended by about 120 people.