The Rave About Harm Reduction

The Rave About Harm Reduction

 

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the VUE Weekly, talked about the ongoing and increasing drug misuse and associated crimes at raves.

In early to middle June, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has been proposing a prohibition on the “concerts with ‘fast-paced’ electronic music.” EPS stated the gatherings create a strain on the EMS, the hospitals, and the EPS.

They argue the communities have a fallout too with drug misuse, disorder and then some furtherance of crime past the venues. With more crime and drug misuse, this is acknowledged as a problem.

However, the VUE Weekly considers this not the sole place, the raves, in which these occur. One reason may be the stigma around rave culture in general. The founder of Night Vision and the direct of the Alberta Electronic Music Committee, Andrew Williams, believes stigma is the issue.

The article states, “There’s a stigma around rave culture, as much as there was with rock ‘n roll culture in the 1960’s. The rave scene is often synonymous with drugs, purple dreadlocks, and lengthy conversations with a white dude with a Polynesian-style tattooed sleeve talking about the decline of the oil industry. Clearly, drugs are not a music problem; it’s a people problem.”

Williams talked about the city-wide problem and not particularly the rave music. It becomes a broad-brushing of the rave scene and, in turn, a mostly large-scale demonization of the young.

“Drugs are not located to one genre, it’s a city-wide problem,” Williams stated, “It’s incorrect to paint it all as ‘rave’ music, otherwise it just drives it underground; this was a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy.”

This attempt by the EPS opens the conversation more on the nature of narcotics and electronic music in relation to the Edmonton community. The issue comes from the potential for further harm with punitive approaches against the young capitalizing on the stigma against the young and the drug and rave cultures.

Where there should more appropriately a stance on the implementation of harm reduction methodologies in the rave culture, Karmik, in British Columbia, is one such harm reduction oriented organization in British Columbia.

Harm reduction methodologies, which come from the philosophy, improve the safety and protect the wellbeing of both ravers and drug users.

“It’s important the decision comes from a collaborative approach,” Williams opined, “That it comes from the community, the harm reduction professionals, the promoters, and the artists. The long-term solution is a plan devised by all parties at the table.”

The music festivals and raves have been important and growing parts of advanced industrial societies’ cultures, especially for the young. One licensed practical nurse and founder of Indigo Harm Reduction Services, Shelby Young, explained the ways in which to deliver the harm reduction strategies have a prerequisite.

That pre-need is the health education. If we can advance the health education with harm reduction philosophy, we can improve the health and wellbeing of people who are involved in drug use and rave culture.

This seems to be a more evidenced-based approach than the moratorium on raves approach.

“The philosophy behind harm reduction is an acknowledgment that, yes, people will be experimenting with drugs, but rather than them hiding it, harm reduction strategies, like drug-testing facilities and safe spaces, will have them engage with their curiosity in a safe way,” the article stated.

Young talked about the provisions for the nightlife community with the harm reduction tents and the first-aid. The support from the provincial government can be an important element to all this.

The article concluded, “While the proposed moratorium created a stir, which eventually had city council deny the moratorium last week, sometimes it takes a bang to make a buck. Now, city council, EPS, and the electronic dance music community all have a seat at the table to discuss what can be done, rather than what won’t.”

Original publication in VUE Weekly.

Image Credit: Pixabay.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

Public Support for the Harm Reduction Strategies for Opioids Moderate

Public Support for the Harm Reduction Strategies for Opioids Moderate

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

HealthDay News reported the stigma around opioid use in Canada. In particular, the ways in which the opioids used by the public and the harm reduction tactics to help with the crisis are linked to the stigmatizing attitudes of them.

That is to say, those who have the stigmas against the use of opioids tend to have the lower levels of support for at least two harm reduction strategies. This is reportage based on a study published this month in the journal of Preventive Medicine.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Dr. Emma E. McGinty and colleagues conducted an online survey. It had 1,004 people. It was nationally representative of the population of the U.S. adults.

The purpose was to “examine support for two evidence-based harm reduction strategies for combating the opioid epidemic, as well as attitudes to those who use opioids. Respondents’ support for legalizing safe consumption sites and syringe service programs in their communities were measured,” the article stated.

According to the reportage, the researchers found between 29% of the respondents have support for the licit safe consumption site and 39% have support for the syringe services. There were “high levels” of stigma against those who use opioids.

The article stated, “16 and 28 percent were willing to have a person using opioids marry into their family and to have a person using opioids start working closely with them on a job, respectively. Persons using opioids were rated as deserving (versus worthless) and strong (versus weak) by 27 and 10 percent of respondents, respectively.”

In sum, a correlation exists between lower support for legal safe consumption sites and syringe service programs with the stigmatizing attitudes.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

The Grand Prairie Homelessness Conference

The Grand Prairie Homelessness Conference

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Homelessness conference for Grand Prairie happened recently. It was called the 7 Cities Conference on Housing First and Homelessness.

It took place in red Deer as a 3-day conference with attendance by one Homeless Initiatives Program Specialist named Shanda Berns. She wanted to know of more ways in which homelessness could be combatted.

Berns went to see the activities, initiatives, and interventions other cities have taken part in. She stated, “We have a big opioid crisis right now. I am hoping there are some strategies and collaborations that we can make that kind of go hand-in-hand with harm reduction as well as long-term housing stability.”

Berns argues that the crisis altered the ways in which the people in the metaphorical trenches and literal streets of the homelessness problems of various major cities of the country deal with, help, and manage homelessness.

“There are a lot of evictions happening due to increase in crisis. People are coming into units, they are using (drugs) and overdosing. It has put a lot of strain on the system. We are dealing a new subset of homelessness with the opioid crisis,” Berns explained.

She thinks more training would help the workers dealing with the clientele. The conference was intended for community members, education people, government officials, and the practitioners in the field. That is, it was open to most people for the creation of a dialogue for activism to end homelessness, or, more realistically, reduce homelessness.

The theme was entitled “A Decade of Progress, a Lifetime of Change.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

MADD and Lift & Co. Partner Up

MADD and Lift & Co. Partner Up

Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD and Lift & Co. are joining together. Lift & Co. is an organization devoted to empower consumers and businesses. The means by which they do this is to help them make informed cannabis-related decisions. The facts and the figures to help them.

Lift & Co. have a web platform to compare and then review the various cannabis strains online. It can help connect the end users with the newest trend data and products. It has a database of over 50,000 reviews with millions of data points for industry analysis.

MADD works as a charitable national organization for the halting of impaired (drunk) driving while also supporting the victims of these violent crimes. There is a volunteer group in about 100 communities in Canada. They help with raising awareness, victim support services, and also the prevention of injuries on Canadian roads with the awareness.

As noted in the reportage, “Canada’s leading cannabis education and analytics company partners with internationally respected authority on public awareness and education to deliver comprehensive certification training for provincial and private cannabis retailers.”

The two organizations are entering a “definitive agreement” as an exclusive partnership in order to certify and train cannabis staff across the country It will be called the Lift & Co. Cannabis Retail Certification, or the “Certification.”

It is self-guided online materials links to in-class components “administered by MADD Canada.” Lift & Co. has about four years of experience in the legal cannabis market through education. Also, MADD (Canada) has a definitive expertise in outreach for the responsible consumption of substance. In their prominent case, the substance known as alcohol.

The CEO of Lift & Co., Matei Olaru, stated, “We are thrilled to be the exclusive partner of MADD Canada on our best-in-class retail training program… MADD Canada is a household name in Canada, synonymous with public awareness, and their years of expertise in instruction and curriculum development are invaluable as we develop standardized education for retailers who will be on the frontlines of the sale of legal recreational cannabis.”

Also, the MADD CEO, Andrew Murie, said, “Effective training programs for retail sales staff are vital to responsible recreational cannabis sales and consumption… Together, MADD Canada and Lift & Co. will develop and deliver comprehensive education to ensure retailers are utilizing best practices that promote safe use and harm reduction.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

No Harm Reduction Upcoming Ontario Premier a Concern

No Harm Reduction Upcoming Ontario Premier a Concern

According to the Toronto Star, the city council will be urging the recently elected Progressive Conservative (PC) government at Queen’s Park to maintain harm reduction. The importance of the urging for the PC government to keep the best methodology known for combatting the overdose crisis in Toronto.

Joe Cressy, chair of the Toronto drug strategy implementation panel, wrote a letter for the board of health of Toronto. He asked for Ontario work within the harm reduction practices to combat the opioid overdose crisis through an expansion and support of the harm reduction services. Cressy argued the situation is urgent and needs to be dealt with to save lives.

In the last year, three new supervised injection sites opened in the city of Toronto in Ontario. These operate within the existing community facilities with one run by the city, which becomes the first of its kind in Ontario.

“Today there are four permanent sites located in Queen West, Yonge-Dundas, Moss Park and Leslieville, at a cost of $3.5 million annually. Five emergency overdose prevention sites have been approved to operate for six months,” the Toronto Star stated. The province provides 100% of the funding for the operation of the various harm reduction services.

However, with the incoming Progressive Conservative leadership, it is uncertain as to the percentage or status moving into the future. “Their future is now in question after Ford told reporters during the election campaign he was ‘dead against’ supervised injection sites,” the article said, “The number of overdose deaths in Toronto has steadily increased in the last five years, from 104 recorded in 2013 to 303 in 2017.”

Nurses monitor the users as they inject their preferred substance at the city’s supervised injection signs. They will “look for signs of overdose or infection.” No deaths happened over thousands of visits – impressive record.

The expert lead for Ontario in emergency medicine and the former chief of the department of emergency medicine at Sinai Health System, Dr. Howard Owens, stated, “It is very, very important that we not only continue to save lives and demonstrate to people that we care about them, but I think the message to addicts if we go back on our policy is a very destructive message about their place in society.”

Owens noted zero negative impacts for supervise injection sites in contradiction to the claims of those who opposed them.

The Toronto Star concluded, “The board of health meets June 18. Council meets starting June 26.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

Harm Reduction for Needle Debris in Lethbridge, Alberta

Harm Reduction for Needle Debris in Lethbridge, Alberta

The Lethbridge Herald reported on the opioid crisis ongoing throughout the country focused on the province of Alberta. There has been a community backlash to the opioid crisis that has led to several deaths in this month alone.

There is needle debris. There are substances and users. Communities are working to deal with it. The Alberta Health Services Lead Medical Officer, Dr. Vivien Suttorp, spoke about the harm reduction approach to the opioid crisis.

“With harm reductions, we provide services to individuals who are addicted to opioids and who are unable or unwilling to seek treatment,” Suttorp stated, “We support them in safe practices, and we support them in ensuring they have links to community organizations and social supports as required, and that they have appropriate education.”

The needles that become debris may be host to various viruses including hepatitis C, hepatitis C, and HIV. In the majority of contexts, a virus is only alive for  few minutes on the needles. Therefore, the needles may not be a harm in the longer term.

However, there may be accidental pokes from needles less than a few minutes after use, and so the health workers or others may contract these serious viruses. If you are pricked, poked, or punctured by a needle such as these, then you should immediately wash very well with water mixed with soap and then call HealthLink.

Immunizations are important for self-protection of citizens. “All children receive hepatitis B vaccine… Hepatitis B is one of the viruses that lasts longer in a needle. So make sure your children are up to date,” Suttorp explained.

The calls for pediatric needles for HealthLink have not increased over the last year and a half with about 1 to 3 per month. “But there are no details available on where and how those incidents take place,” the Lethbridge Herald notes.

68,000 needles, approximately, were on the Lethbridge streets with a 45% return rate. 55,000 syringes have gone out as well with a 95% return rate.

The Executive Director of ARCHES, Stacey Bourque, stated that the people who take the needles through a clean needle program are encouraged to return those needles. Those who take the needles out remove them from a free biohazard container.

The World Health Organization, or the WHO, has a set of best practices. ARCHES follows them. Bourque explained, “The outlined best practice from the (WHO) is that you operate as a distribution program… You don’t limit access to syringes or restrict access regardless of the fact you are operating an (SCS). And you don’t require a one-for-one exchange.”

Needles can be tracked to a degree, but ineffectively. However, no solid means exists in wide practice to be able to track syringes and ARCHES is unable to have them mandatorily set up to be returned.

One of the most effective ways to prevent disease spreading is to have on-time use syringes, according to the article.

“There isn’t a communicable disease we know of that is contained within one subpopulation… Eventually, it’s going to make its way out into the general population,” Bourque stated, “We tried (retractable needles) as a pilot program six months ago and there were a few issues with that… We’re talking about people who don’t necessarily have safe injection practices.”

Bourque and ARCHES are open to suggestions from the public.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

Eden May Not Survive in Vancouver

Eden May Not Survive in Vancouver

The Toronto Star reported on a cannabis dispensary in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The dispensary runs an opioid substitution program. It works in partnership with the department of psychology at the University of British Columbia.

The opiate study program co-ordinator for Eden Medicinal Society, Denise Brennan, stated that after about six months the set-up in Eden Medicinal Society will be unable to afford to stay open, especially without a business license or a development permit. These were both denied with the current bylaws that do not allow the dispensaries to work within 300 metres of one another.

Brennan stated, “It’s quite an expensive, intensive program… It’s more than $5,000 a month just to have the doors open, so in the absence of any way to generate revenue — because we can’t get a business licence to do that — it’s not possible to maintain long term.”

The City of Vancouver stated that the East Hastings Eden site is not a licensed Compassion Club. Therefore, it operates with land use approval. That makes the current operation illegal. That it is, by implication “under enforcement action by the city for operating without a license.”

The location has not sold any cannabis on site for profit since opening. Rather, it focuses on the provision of cannabis for patients. That is part of the research initiative with UBC. Medical cannabis dispensaries have two options for application for permits and licenses.

One is the Medical marijuana Retail Use License, which is available for selling medical cannabis to the “broader public.” The other is a Compassion Club license. The latter is far cheaper. It is available for those operations that provide more health services to members alone.

With the harm reduction mandate of Eden, both licenses do not cover it. In fact, they do not cover the various needs of the Downtown Eastside.

Brennan, in description of the Eden program, explained, “It’s a very, very different model from just going in and grabbing your drugs… One of the things we’re doing here is mitigating social isolation… We’re creating a safe space for people to come in and say, ‘I’m struggling. I’m having a human experience.’” It is a common story.

Brennan stated, bleakly, that the location may not survive past the end of the current month. There is a change with the incoming cannabis as a tool for harm reduction mentality in th government.  One methodology could be the cannabis to replace opioids therapy, or the cannabis-based opioid substitution therapy.

“I think there are various ways to combat (opioid addiction),” she said. “I’m not saying cannabis is the ultimate solution. I’m saying cannabis is a significant harm-reduction option, and one that appeals to people.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

Peel Health In-Process Data Collection for Opioid Strategy

Peel Health In-Process Data Collection for Opioid Strategy

Mississauga News reported on the Peel Health collecting data for opioid strategy. In the Peel community, the opioid-related deaths continue to rise. It amounts to a common, and more consistent and increasing, narrative throughout the nation. Peel Public Health will be collecting data, monitoring the data, and working to analyze the evidence in order to effectuate positive change within the community.

The purpose for this evidence basis is top expand the harm reduction provisions and the update the opioid strategy based on the current crisis. As stated in Mississauga News, “Peel’s opioid response is based on four pillars — prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement — Dr. Jessica Hopkins, Peel’s medical officer of health, recently told a meeting of regional council.”

The mortality rates lower than the provincial rates in Peel, which is in the province of Ontario. Between 2013 and 2015, the opioid-related deaths increased by two-fold in Peel. Mississauga Councillor Nando Iannicca talked about a recent visit to Vancouver. In that visit, Iannicca went to the safe-injection facility.

He opined, “I’ve never seen anything more depressing in my life… The human tragedy was the worst story. It was nothing like I’ve ever seen.” The Mississauga councillor pondered the juxtaposition of wealth in Canada and then the misfortune of so many. Iannicca called on the government to do more to help those with addictions.

Linda Jeffrey, the Brampton Mayor, stated that the HIV/AIDS Network made an announcement in March of 2018. That the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provided funding to them. The financial support is on a short-term basis. The money’s purpose is to support the operation of the temporary overdose prevention site by the four corner’s in Brampton.

It will open on April 3. Hopkins explained Peel Health did not make any recommendation for an application for funding in order to have the establishment of an overdose-prevention site. She noted, furthermore, work to community consultation, which was working needing to be done.

Elaine Moore, another Brampton Councillor, talked about the Peel Works Needle Exchange Program mobile van. Where the van may be a “willing host” for the overdose prevention services, however, Hopkins the units for public health do not amount to the lead agency. Those that treat individuals with addictions, but, rather, the Local Health Integration Networks did that work.

“In 2017, the Health Ministry provided LHINs with base funding to treat people with addictions,” the news article stated, “Last year, the Mississauga Halton LHIN expanded services for psychosocial treatment, withdrawal management and harm reduction and enhanced services like the community addiction liaison to the emergency-room program.”

Peel Health has a strategic framework with some initiatives. 2017 was the year when Peel Health got some funding from the Health Ministry in order to onboard new staff members and increase the harm reduction services available. Those services offered via Peel Works Needle Exchange Program mobile van.

The public health staff also began to distribute naloxone circa March 1 of 2017 with the provision by the van once more. “And, there has been an increase in the interactions with people through the Peel Works Needle Exchange Program. Peel Public Health is also working closely with Peel regional police, Caledon OPP, and federal and provincial Crown prosecutors on enforcement,” The report concluded, “Peel Public Health plans to present opioid-strategy recommendations to regional council in the spring.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

New UBC Professorship Focuses on Cannabis

New UBC Professorship Focuses on Cannabis

The Toronto Star reported on the first professorship in all Canada for researching the role of Cannabis. In particular, the role in the overdose crisis.

As the overdose crisis continues to impact individuals, families, and communtiies, and so enter the general populace consciousness, the questions emerge in not only the public but also the academic worlds.

The professor position will be hosted inthe University of British Columbia. Professor Evan Wood, Canada Research Chair at UBC, stated the two-professorship would assist in the production of concrete statistics about cannabis use and its impact on opioid addiction.

Wood believes data is needed in these areas. The potential data could save lives.

help lives. Canada’s largest  cannabis company, Canopy, partnered with B.C. Ministry of Mental Health  and Addictions, the B.C. Centre for Substance Use, and the University of British Columbia.

All came together to create the two-year position. Wood considers the opioid crisis “horrid” in need of “evidence-based approaches. This research stream still has not garnered support in the standard funding structures.

There is a federal basis for this with the restrictions on cannabis in scientific research. This comes from decades of cannabis treated as a highly dangerous drug. Wood said, “Cannabis prohibition has just been a tremendous failure… We need to chart a new course.”

Canopy will be donating $2.5 million to the foundation of the Canopy Growth Professorship in Cannabis Science and the Canopy Growth Cannabis Science Endowment Fund. These will help with the continued efforts to research cannabis in a scientific setting.

“The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, meanwhile, contributed $500,000 to the project — a move Wood praised, calling it bold and forward-thinking,” the Toronto Star stated.

The B.C. Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy, stated a commitment to support from “across all sectors to find new, evidence-based ways to save more lives from opioid overdose and help more people find a pathway to hope and healing.”

The Director of Patient Education and Advocacy for Canopy Growth, Hilary Black, opined that this is all an extension of her public service for the general public. Black was the founder of the Compassion Club in Canada, which was the first one in the nation.

“To me, the cannabis industry has always been about using profits to give back, and to take care of your community,” Black said, “I’m doing the same work, but now on a much bigger scale, working with Canopy Growth … And I get to use their resources (for) social responsibility in the communities that we’re operating in.”

Black described the amount of the donation as without strings. In that, the donation will not come with any strings to dictate the form and style and structure of the research. That makes the conflict of interest much lower than otherwise.

Wood stated, “It was very important to them and us that this be a philanthropic gift.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

Some Roadblocks to the Harm Reduction Efforts

Some Roadblocks to the Harm Reduction Efforts

According to CBC Newsthe Kathleen Wynne Ontario government moved with some regulations.  The changes in the regulations will make adult smokers’ switch to e-cigarettes more difficult.

This will take place on July 1. There will be “roadblocks to the province’s goal of creating a smoke-free Ontario.” One aspect of the regulations is a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors. This is to be applied in vape shops for adults only too. The reporter states that users, adult users presumably, need to be able to test their products for potential purchase.

The ban of indoor vaping would prevent the consenting adult cigarette smokers from being able to test their electronic cigarette products in the adult-only shops.

“To some, this might seem like no big deal. But in order for people to successfully transition from smoking to vaping, they need a lot of information. Vape shop employees need to be able to show people how to use the devices,” CBC News stated, “and customers need to be able to sample the various devices and flavours in order to find something that will satiate their cravings. Otherwise, people tend to give up and go back to cigarette smoking.”

The reason for the ban: second-hand vapour. According to the reportage, little to no evidence exists for this claim for the rationale. It becomes irrational in other words. A body of research, in peer-reviewed and academic journals, confirms “little to no risk to the second-hand vapour produced by e-cigarettes.”

“In 2013, for example, doctors from the Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y., published a study on second-hand vaping in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. They found that the second-hand nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes was 10 times lower than from regular cigarettes. Moreover, unlike with tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not produce any carbon monoxide, which can be very harmful to bystanders,” CBC News said.

One 2016 literature review looked at researc over the previous decade, at the time. There was no exclusion of “studies that used e-cigarettes with unsafe coil designs (which have now phased out), studies in which e-cigarettes were improperly run dry (resulting in the combustion of the wick) and studies that used low-quality and potentially contaminated e-liquids,” CBC News said.

Even with the major limitations in the literature review from 2016, the passive or secondary-smoke from an e-cigarette was less than the risk from a convential cigarette. Also, in the International Journal of Drug Policy that published a 2015 study, they found the nicotine residue left by tobacco cigarettes was 150 times more than the e-cigarettes.

Despite these major limitations, which bias the review against e-cigarettes, the authors concluded that, “the risk from being passively exposed to EC (e-cigarette) vapour is likely to be less than the risk from passive exposure to CC (conventional cigarette) smoke.”

CBC News explained, “But by classifying e-cigarettes as akin combustible tobacco cigarettes, the Ontario government is basically ignoring this evidence. It’s even more contradictory because the government has fully supported and funded safe injection sites for intravenous drug users, but is, at the same time, making it more difficult for smokers to access and try out e-cigarettes, which are a safe, proven harm-reduction tool.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

Change the Word, Change the Stigma

Change the Word, Change the Stigma

The use of social media platforms can help reduce the stigma around opioid use based on reportage from CBC News. The Health Department of Nova Scotia continues to work with Health Canada and the province of British Columbia for the creation of a pilot project. The pilot initiative is intended to be released in the summer. The main purpose is to have a campaign in order to change public attitudes around drugs and drug use.

That is, this is meant to improve social attitudes in order to encourage drug users or those who know those who use drugs to get appropriate help as necessary. Ally Centre of Cape Breton Executive Director Christine Porter approved of the campaign. She said the withdrawal from the opioids is severe.

It may lead to increased illicit behaviour for those who go through the withdrawal, presmably to acquire more of the addicted-to substance.

The research points to opioid use disorders being capable of being treated through medicine. That makes the reduction of stigma, “criminal stigma,” important. It creates a barrier in compassion and can prevent users from go to seek help. It can force them into illegal or dangerous behaviour.

Porter stated, “It’s a disorder. It’s a disease, and one that can be treated, and one that we can find help for people instead of shunning them all and pushing them all into the corner… It’s not about a flu, or anything like that. It’s a terrible sickness that people endure, so, you know, it leads them to desperate measures, and unfortunately that’s where a lot of the stigma comes from.”

The words used, the labels for users and drugs, creates a stigmatizing language or set of words around opioid usage. For example, there is reference to opioid abuse or opioid addiction. People use opioid use disorder now. One reason: eople who need opioid medication in a legitimate, medicinal way use the opioids to deal with the chronic pain.

“A lot of education has to take place,” Porter explained, “People are still under the impression that substance use disorder or addiction is still a person’s choice, when we know and science knows, and lots of research has shown, that indeed that it is a disease… We absolutely have to change the language.”

The Chief Medical Officer of Health in Nova Scotia, Dr. Robert Strang talked about the ways in which opioid use disorder need treatment in a health care setting rather than becoming stigmatized. The resultant stigmatization makes some physicians reluctant to prescribe medications

The national prescription guidelines were updated, recently, to help with counteracting this pervasive stigma around drug use and opioids at this moment in time with the crises in various cities taking lives via overdose.

“The worst thing we can do is to actually push people to a street drug, or supply of opioids on the street, because now we’ve put them at much-increased risk for an overdose,” Strang opined, “…Stigma reduction is part of our opioid response plan, so we’re always happy to partner with others when there’s ability to share some costs, etc.”

There will be monitoring of the campaign. Dependent on failure or success, and degree of success if so, this will be “rolled out nationally.”  Strang described the ways in which this is coinciding with the harm reduction methodologies being employed in Nova Scotia with the introduction of “overdose antidote kits across the province.” (ed. I assume this means Naloxone kits.)

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

A Dollar Store Has Been Selling Fentanyl Testing Kits

A Dollar Store Has Been Selling Fentanyl Testing Kits

According to the Times Colonist, the city of Vancouver will be selling fentanyl test strips. Potentially, these are being sold out of a need to be fulfilled. The need based on the overdose crisis in province of British Columbia.

The Overdose Prevention Society Sarah Blyth stated the society found the strips being sold. They are similar to the pregnancy tests one takes home for self-testing. Rapid Self Test, Inc., makes the fentanyl test strips.

They, according to the reportage, are being sold for $1.25 at a Dollar Tree. The society tested the strips on a number of illicit street drugs on Saturday with the fentanyl test strip kits bought from the dollar store.

The reportage said that everything tested positive for fentanyl. This does not mean, by necessity, the tests are in any way accurate. The senior manager of programs at the PHS Community Services Society, Coco Culbertson, opined that the item was new: the fentanylltesting strips for $1.25

According to the website of the product, the tests are available through Walmart and Pharmasave. “Drug checking using fentanyl testing strips has been taking place at Insite, the supervised consumption site in Vancouver, since summer 2016. It was expanded in September to the Powell Street Getaway and overdose-prevention sites in Vancouver Coastal Health’s region,” the Times Colonist reported.

The ones sold at the dollar store are a different brand. The Dollar Tree in Pender Street sells two, as it turns out, home test kits. One for marijuana; another for fentanyl. A clerk from a store at Commercial Drive stated that they had sold out of them.

“I don’t know how reliable these tests are,” Blyth said. “But if people buy [illicit] drugs and they can access these tests for a good price, then I see that as a good thing.” Blyth said harm reduction is another methodology in order to reduce and so prevent overdose deaths.

Imagine if a loved one or colleague, this could save a life. Some other methodologies include never using drugs by one self, using them at the supervised consumption sites, or having access to the drug naloxone to prevent fentanyl overdoses.

There is one warning, according to the reportage, that the test kits to do not test for carfentanil, which is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl.

“The province continues to be gripped by an opioid crisis, one that led to B.C. declaring a public health emergency in 2016,” the Time Colonist said, “More than 1,400 British Columbians died last year from illicit drug overdoses, and hundreds more have died this year. The powerful opiate fentanyl is believed to have caused most of the fatalities.”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

A Call for Provincial and Federal Support to Tackle the Opioid Crisis

A Call for Provincial and Federal Support to Tackle the Opioid Crisis

According to the Star Metro Vancouver, there was a call, once more, for support of Vancouver with the opioid crisis. The Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, made the call for the federal and provincial governments to support the launch of an opioid distribution pilot program.

One to delivery clean substances to users. Because the city’s supply continues to be increasingly tainted. Mark Tyndall, the executive medical director of the BCCDC (B.C. Centre for Disease Control), heads the program.

It would permit users safe opioid access through dispensation machines. A fingerprint or a retinal scan would provide access. In short, biometric accessibility to opioids through dispensaries.

It may save lives.  Robertson stated, “Poisonous, illicit drugs are killing our residents, friends and loved ones… We need to continue taking bold new actions to halt the devastating death toll of the opioid overdose crisis.”

According to the BCCDC, less than 20% of the drugs sold as ‘opioids’ contain the desired substance. More than 90% of the had fentanyl in them. Fentanyl is the substance that killed more than 1,400 people via overdose in 2017 based on reportage from the B.C. Coroner’s Service.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue supports the Robertson-proposed pilot project as well. “The number of overdoses shows no signs of slowing down,” said Capt. Jonathan Gormick. “The precrisis acute spikes have been replaced by endless days of high call volume.”

The closing week of April, of this year, had a total of 207 overdose calls to the Vancouver Fire and Rescue. That equates to 74% higher than the weekly average of the final week in April of 2017.

The Vancouver Police Department also supports the pilot project. This “dovetails” with the pillars of the VPD. The four-pillar approach to drug enforcement of the Vancouver Police Department. Vancouver Police Department Adam palmer talked about the wisdom seen in the spring.

The spring of 2018 where there was the effort to find ways to deliver the clean drug supply to those who risk life and livelihood in pursuit of substance from an illicit provider or seller.

“I think that there are really creative solutions that we’d be open to in Vancouver,” Palmer opined. “Things like replacement therapy and substitution therapy… prescribing heroin and that sort of thing to people. A lot of that stuff makes sense.”

The federal government rejected calls for more “extraordinary harm-reduction measures such as decriminalization of simple possession.” However, the “Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse Treatment is committed to finding ‘new approaches to substance use disorder treatment.’”

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.