Harm Reduction and the North Bay

Harm Reduction and the North Bay

The basic import and evidence behind harm reduction methodology is simply undeniable. But there are invested interests in ignorance about the nature of the best ways in which, or better ways in which, to deal with the various crises facing us, exacerbated by the punitive approaches to drugs and substances.

Needle exchanges and education are part and parcel of harm reduction. In the North Bay, there are more community spaces being proposed alongside some of the aforementioned measures, which can help members of the community and, thus, the health of the community.

One of the HIV education/MSM outreach coordinators for the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area, Kathleen Jodouin, made certain to direct attention to the methodologies associated with harm reduction.

Jodouin stated, “There has been frequent talk in the community – across social media and news outlets – about improperly disposed of needles that are found in the community.”

One of the issues are the hours of operation. They be closed for substantial times in a 24-hour period in in a 7-day timespan. Other places including Kirkland Lake, New Liskeard, Sudbury, and Timmins accepted and implemented the proposals for safe disposal bins.

These are minimal and cheap measures to improve the health of communities.

“We think this could be an excellent resource for our community, to allow folks to have a safer place to dispose of them, which – of course – reduces transmission risk and the presence of improperly disposed of needles,” Jodouin explained, “but also helps to affirm that we are recognizing a need in the community for better services for those who are actively using.”

As the crises affecting communities throughout the country continue to become worse and worse, and more and more communities are affected, and to a substantially worse degree, there will be more events thematically oriented on it.

If we look at Harm Reduction Saves Lives, a 2-day symposium, Jodouin was part of it. In it, the emphasis was on “more education and emphasis on harm reduction as a solution.”

Jodouin stated the need for more inclusive for all members of the community, especially those who may be active users of substance. They aren’t from Mars. They’re other human beings deserving of compassion, dignity, and respect.

There is a lot of fear-based rhetoric, of which the least among out societies bear the brunt. In early 2018, Muskoka chairs put in the downtown were removed from outside the Canadian Mental Health Association. Why? Presumably, the stigma surrounding them.

Jodouin stated, “We find this quite disappointing, if not harmful, because it makes assumptions about the people who are accessing those services. It stigmatizes people who are brave enough to reach out into our community and ask for help and then it creates an isolation that these people are not welcome in the downtown core.”

References

Young, G. (2018, November 28). Harm reduction favoured as best treatment for drug problem. Retrieved from https://www.nugget.ca/news/local-news/harm-reduction-favoured-as-best-treatment-for-drug-problem.

Photo by Etienne Delorieux on Unsplash

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.

Saskatoon Tribal Council and Harm Reduction Services

Saskatoon Tribal Council and Harm Reduction Services

According to Global News, there is a several year agreement for funding with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, or the STC, in order to improve the services for the Indigenous peoples “in and around the city.

The reportage stated, “Provincial government officials said Monday the these programs provide education, supplies, and supports to people who use drugs, reducing the spread of blood-borne infections, and other health-related harms.”

These remain significant and, potentially, growing problems throughout the country. The introduction of improved harm reduction measures will, as per the robust empirical and peer-reviewed evidence, make the health and wellness outcomes of the nation better in these areas as well.

The STC will also hire casual staff for needle exchanges, 2 outreach workers, one immunization/administrative co-ordinator, and 1 health centre director.

The STC Chief, Mark Arcand, stated, “We look forward to ensuring preventative harm reduction measures that are delivered in a culturally safe and respectful manner… We and our partners agree that a collaborative approach is necessary if we are to reduce the rates of HIV and hepatitis C in Saskatchewan. Together we can and will affect real change which enriches people’s quality of life.”

In addition to this, the Minister of Indigenous Servces, Jane Philpott, noted 30 First Nations communities now provide various harm reduction services. This is particularly heartwarming and important as most of the ill-health impacts of the country disproportionately negatively impact the Indigenous communities and peoples throughout the nation.

Philpott, in a press release, stated, “We know that First Nations-led and delivered programming and services can have the biggest impact on improving health outcomes for Indigenous peoples… This new funding agreement will allow for expanded access to more First Nations people in Saskatoon and surrounding communities, and will support a full range of harm reduction and HIV/AIDS care services.”

Now, the Indigenous Services Canada will give $0.825 million from October, 2018 to April, 2024; same with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health. Then the STC will contiute $50,000 for 2018/19 and $100,000 per annum until March, 2024.

Indigenous Services Canada and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health will each contribute $825,000 between October 2018 and April 2024 to STC’s program, plus an additional $180,000 this fiscal year for STC. STC will provide in-kind contributions of $50,000 for 2018-19 and $100,000 annually to March 2024.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is also providing $180,000 this fiscal year toward STC’s program.

References

Piller, T. (2018, December 3). Saskatoon Tribal Council improving harm reduction services. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/4723106/saskatoon-tribal-council-improving-harm-reduction-services/.

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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.

International Drug Awareness Day 2018

International Drug Awareness Day 2018

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

​​According to Global News, there was a harm reduction or drug overdose symposium in Kelowna entitled International Drug Overdose Awareness Day 2018. It is the second one.

There have been overdoses in British Columbia. These reflect the national statistics of overdoses. Indeed, there has been a continual increase in the number of overdoses in British Columbia.

In only July of 2017, there were 134 drug-overdose deaths – “suspected” – to have, unfortunately, occurred. In fact, 17 were within the Interior Health Authority.

This conference amounts to a concerned parties gathering with Moms Stop the Harm, Interior Health, politicians, and service providers helping with the overall event.

One purpose of an event such as this one is the work to decrease the harms associated with drug abuse or overuse.

As stated by Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health Officer, “Stigma prevents people from accessing services… Stigma prevents people from asking for help. Stigma is killing people.”

The stigma creates a sense and cycle of shame around the use of substances, which can prevent those who might, otherwise, get help from actually seeking assistance. It, in fact, causes harm – the stigma of drugs and drug users.

One woman with Moms Stop the Harm, Helen Jennings, stated, “Now with the Good Samaratin (Law), you’re not afraid of calling 911, even if you’re using yourself.”

Since spring 2017, there has been the Good Samaritan Law to provide some level of immunity for the individuals who are caught with simple possession of drugs, in the case of those who call 911 with an emergency of an overdose needing treatment.

Another resource of the area is the Living Positive Resource Centre, which is in Kelowna and based on the harm reduction methodology support by the scientific evidence.

Another initiative is Living Positive to give out complimentary naloxone kits. Furthermore, there are lessons in how to properly use them.

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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.

Parkdale Site Opens

Parkdale Site Opens

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

In terms of the dealing with the substance or drug abuse or overuse and overdose phenomenon happening throughout the nation, the position with the most evidence remains the harm reduction philosophy as applied in the various harm reduction methodologies.

The purpose of the harm reduction philosophy as shown in the evidence is proven; the intent is not only good but has positive individual and societal impacts. The main problem is the degree to which there is funding for the methodologies, e.g. overdose prevention sites and safe injection sites and Naloxone kits.

Parkdale, Toronto had the problem of funding. There is a group of bottom-up organizers who worked to open, alongside activists and healthcare workers, an overdose prevention site in the neighbourhood. As it turns out, there has been work to prevent this, not from the grassroots.

The province is now going to pause funding on these initiatives. However, the Parkdale community – the aforementioned community members – two weeks after the announcement decided to open the overdose prevention site anyway. The Toronto Overdose |Prevention Society stated that the reason was in direct response to the government legal sanctions.

This is reported to be similar to the Moss Park site opened about one year ago. The new site will be on Beaty Boulevard park and King Street West.

Molly Bannerman, the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society member, stated, “We are in the midst of a public health crisis and we will not allow lifesaving services to be paused while Parkdale community members are dying… We will stand together and fight against this crisis with other communities across the province.”
The province cut the original funding for the site. The Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre would have opened one; however, only two days prior to the opening of the site the funding was then suspended for any of the sites. This reflect community activism for the benefit of the members in it, given available evidence about harm reduction.
More information in the link at the start.

Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

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.

CSSDP Overdose Awareness Day 2018

CSSDP Overdose Awareness Day 2018

Last friday, Ontario’s new Minister of Health and Long-term Care, Christine Elliott, announced the Ford government’s decision to put a hold on approving any new overdose prevention sites until more evidence is reviewed. This move came less than a month before August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day – a day dedicated to remembering all of those who were lost too early to a drug overdose. This day should act as a reminder to all levels of government that we are living through an epidemic of preventable deaths. If the loss of 4000 Canadians in 2017 alone wasn’t enough, this day should prompt government reflection on what political action is needed to turn this crisis around. We strongly urge the Ford government to take this chance to reconsider its decision to freeze the overdose prevention site approval process – a move that, if not reversed, experts say will directly contribute to rising overdose deaths throughout the province.

Thanks to an in-depth scientific evaluation of Insite, Vancouver’s supervised injection facility (SIF), the evidence has been clear for more than a decade: SIFs have been shown to prevent infectious disease transmission and injection-related injury and infection, connect clients with health resources including mental health and addiction treatment, reduce public disorder, and even save taxpayers an estimated $18 million over 10 years (what right-leaning voter can’t appreciate that?). On top of this – and most relevant to the current opioid and overdose crisis across Canada – using a SIF significantly reduces the risk of fatal overdose, so much so that the results can be seen at the population-level. The opening of Insite, which oversees up to 12 injections at a time, was shown to contribute to a 35% decline in the fatal overdose rate within the Downtown Eastside community within its first 2 years of operation. In fact, since opening its doors in 2004, Insite has seen over 8000 overdoses but not one death. This is because staff are on-hand to make sure that if a client overdoses, naloxone is administered and emergency responders are called. However, SIFs are operated by health authorities in a somewhat medicalized setting. For this reason, they may be avoided by some of the most marginalized members of the community who tend to be at highest risk of overdose but less willing to interact with the health care system due to experiences of stigma and discrimination.

This is where overdose prevention sites come in. Overdose prevention sites are low-threshold supervised consumption service settings in which trained drug-using peers and other community volunteers are on-hand to respond to an overdose. Overdose prevention sites are less expensive than SIFs to operate, and can be set up quickly to respond to a spike in overdoses within a community. The Ontario Minister of Health says she needs to review the evidence to see if overdose prevention sites “have merit” before approving any more sites. Although her comments suggest the “evidence” she is looking for will be opinions of the surrounding community, if she were referring to formal peer-reviewed research specific to overdose prevention sites, we might be waiting for a while. There is very little published research on these sites because they were implemented very recently as an emergency response to a public health crisis, and a proper scientific evaluation takes time. However, a rapid qualitative evaluation of these sites is expected to be published in the near future by research scientists in Vancouver. Based on this research, the lead investigator Dr. Ryan McNeil has publicly voiced support for the sites in response to the Ontario government’s decision.

Even without peer-reviewed research evaluating overdose prevention sites, a basic review of overdose trends within the population should tell us all we need to know about the importance of a low-threshold supervised consumption model. In BC, the first province to implement and quickly expand overdose prevention sites, there have been over 2000 overdoses at these sites, yet not one death. What would have happened to these individuals had they been forced to inject alone or away from trained responders? A simple review of overdose data in BC suggests that many of these overdoses could have been fatal, since the majority of overdose deaths occurred among individuals who used alone and/or in a private setting away from the public.

Our organization has many wishes on this Overdose Awareness Day, but reversing the freeze on approvals for new overdose prevention sites in Ontario is at the top of our list. This move would immediately start saving lives.

Here’s what else we are advocating for on International Overdose Awareness Day and every day:

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Stephanie Lake

Stephanie Lake

Stephanie is a doctoral student in population and public health at the University of British Columbia, where she is currently undertaking research to better understand the links between cannabis, opioids, and drug-related morbidity. Specifically, she is interested in understanding the potential role of cannabis in harm reduction among people who use illicit drugs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Her other research interests include the therapeutic use of cannabis among people living with HIV/AIDS. Stephanie has also served as staff writer for the UBC Medical Journal (2014-2016) and as an intern at the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (2014), and is currently working with other students to revive the CSSDP’s Vancouver chapter. In addition to her academic writing, Stephanie has published numerous letters and articles on cannabis in local newspapers including the Vancouver Sun and The Province. She joined the CSSDP in in 2016, and is looking forward to working with other students across Canada to push for a drug policy that is guided by evidence and human rights.

The Debate on Harm Reduction is Not a Debate

The Debate on Harm Reduction is Not a Debate

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the Globe and Mail, there is a problem with the public debate around harm reduction. In particular, the fact of the matter is the peer-reviewed literature in support of harm reduction philosophy and methodology and not in support of the current punitive-retributive philosophy and methodology.

The Ontario Health Minister, Christine Elliott, spoke on the evidence for the decision made by the Progressive Conservative government decision to move forward with even further research on the opioid epidemic or crisis, where there was the suspension of the opening of sites based on harm reduction to help substance users within communities in the province.

The basic assertion was that some in the population disagree on the efficacy of the harm reduction implementations. No evidence was given except some minority opinion of the public rather than reference to the general public of Ontario and the wider world of academic research already present indicating the efficacy of harm reduction methodologies over and above the punitive measures,where, in fact, the punishment oriented methodologies do more harm than good to the substance users.

As reported, “Ms. Elliott’s struggle to rationalize her government’s skepticism was reflective of the reality that, 15 years after Canada first began to experiment with providing addicts safe, medically supervised sites where they can inject drugs, there is no good evidence against doing so. Instead, there is voluminous evidence that such places keep people alive, with staff reversing multiple overdoses daily – along with other benefits that include reducing the spread of disease through needle-sharing and, yes, directing some addicts toward rehab.”

Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

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.

Lethbridge Working Towards Opioid Plan

Lethbridge Working Towards Opioid Plan

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

The Lethbridge Herald stated that there is work ongoing within Lethbridge, Alberta to plan for actionables with the opioid crisis.

The Lethbridge City Council is working to fix the issues with an ad hoc committee in addition to three community meetings.The issue is gripping the entire country. Many are wondering about the best means by which to deal with these issues ongoing in the nation.

One councillor, Jeff Carlson, stated, “Council is definitely late to the conversation on this one… However, we do have a responsibility to the community and we have to step up and recognize where we can lead.”

Within the ad hod committee, the fundamental targeted objective is to develop a plan of action for tackling the opioid crisis issue. In particular, the coordination with a variety of stakeholders within the community to work on proactive and constructive solutions to be implemented through the action plan.

The residents, businesses, and other stakeholders will be helping with this process, in order to deal with the crisis of overdoses associated with opioids in Lethbridge at the moment. It is an increasing problem locally and nationally, where this then requires the action plans to be developed and implemented through the councils of cities.

The impacts of the crisis centre on the deaths of Canadian citizens but also on the peripheral environment in which illicit and drug-related activity is ongoing, including downtown Lethbridge, petty crime in the geography of Lethbridge, and drug paraphernalia being left lying around.

The public spaces become less safe for the public. This is an issue and a concern.

Councillor Blaine Hyggen moved three amendments to improve the ability of the community to deal with the issues of the community through the committee. The size of the committee will increase from 10 to 20. The stance of many Lethbridge City Council members was an emphasis on the importance of the inclusion of the community and that this should have been several months prior.

The guidelines set about by Health Canada will be the document referenced in the harm reduction plan to be put forward by the council.

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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.

Melanson on Safe Injection Sites

Melanson on Safe Injection Sites

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the Sudbury, the safe injection sites will begin to fall within the orbit of the provincial and the federal governments in Canada. Municipalities are unable to construct one from municipal tax dollars.

The federal government, based on the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, will be granting an exemption. This is said to be in compliance with Bill C-2. The bill states that the safe injection site will meet a proscribed set of requirements and then the exemption can be granted.

Evidence exists in support Insite. Insite is the first legal site. It operates  out of Vancouver. It has reduced the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AID. It is part of harm reduction methodology in practice and, therefore, in alignment with the professional research paying dividends for the health and well-being of those in need.

The city of Vancouver works from its four pillars of harm reduction drug policy. These are harm reduction, prevention, treatment, and enforcement. Within these measures, we can see the help towards the reduction in harm for those in deep need in society, often forgotten and marginalized – and demonized, stigmatized, and eventually traumatized.

The responsibility lies with the design of policies, practices, and norms of culture in order to reduce the level of the harms for those individuals who happen to go through the horrid experience of overdose or possible death due to overdose. It becomes particularly pertinent and prudent to support these initiatives in the light of the fentanyl overdose crisis with thousands Canadian citizens’ deaths linked to them.

The responsibility for the implementation of these initiatives should come from the federal and provincial governments, and will; furthermore, the municipalities have been given these duties and obligations within any support in funding. It becomes more work with the same amount of resources.

This makes for the burden to be placed on the property owners in the regions and areas ravaged by the consequences of drug abuse or misuse. Insite costs $3 million per annum to operate.

Melanson in the publication states, “We already have the burden of more provincial and federal programs; the costs of which are being carried by homeowners, with fixed incomes, who are barely able to afford to stay in their homes as it is. To deliberately add to that burden, would be to effectively push financially vulnerable seniors and others past the financial tipping point, and result in their having to sell their homes.”

He called for the mayor to reduce the tax burden on the property owners. The Ontario Ministry of Health is working to review  the safe injection sites. With the review cleared, the Greater Sudbury Council can then construct informed decisions and policies for the improvement of the health of the area.

Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

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 Decriminalization Around The World

A Call For Decriminalization Around The World

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

There has been some recent reportage on some increase in a modern call for decriminalization of drugs not only in Canada but also in a number of other nations around the world.

If one looks at the North American context, we can see the number of policymakers in the United States far underwhelms the number of those in Canada and elsewhere, per capita, in support of the decriminalization of drugs. It is amounts to the elimination of criminal penalties for drug possession.

That is, a reduction and eventual elimination of the number of jail terms and arrests for those who carry drugs for some personal use. Most of the American public supports this notion, where this contrasts with the number of policymakers in a distinct way. In addition, there are the majority of the “governmental, medical, public health and civil rights groups” who support this policy.

It would appear the basic premise of the policymakers stands at odds with the vast majority of the activist organizations and the American public. In the Canadian context, we have seen the Toronto and Montreal public health authorities recommend for the decriminalization of drugs for personal use.

This has made international news, not so surprisingly – as this is dramatic notion, but not within the national conversation of those who may have deceased family members, unfortunately, due to the opioid crisis that is ongoing. Vancouver made an official recommendation for the decriminalization to the Canadian government as well.

Two of the major political parties in Canada, including the standing federal political government, created an additional portion to their campaign platforms with drug decriminalization. The majority of the citizenry want it.

“Canada is joined by a growing list of countries — which already includes France, Georgia, Ghana, Ireland and Norway — where moves are being made at senior levels of government to pave the way for decriminalizing the personal use of drugs,” as reported in The Hill, “Several countries have successful experience with decriminalization, including the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and — most notably — Portugal. In 2001, Portugal enacted one of the most extensive drug law reforms in the world when it decriminalized all illegal drugs.”

Portugal does not arrest people for drug possession. More people, who need it, are receiving proper treatment. Then the addiction, infection, and overdose rates have declined as well. It makes an empirical, societal-wide, argument for the investment in harm reduction philosophy, education, and implementation of methodology for the well-being of the general population.

The United Nations and the World Health Organization called for the decriminalization too. Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has been the Secretary-General o the United Nations since 2001. He makes the same argument. As time moves along into the future, with the vast support of the American public and the increasing support around the world, one may extrapolate to a likely decriminalization future.

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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 Potential Look of Decriminalization in Canada

The Potential Look of Decriminalization in Canada

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, there is a united call on the part of the relevant authorities in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver for the decriminalization of hard drugs.

As reported, “Among this pro-decriminalization camp, there is one word that is mentioned constantly: Portugal, the country that pioneered across-the-board drug decriminalization in 2001. Portugal has not legalized drugs. Far from it.”

The article continues to state the selling of cannabis will be legal in Canadian society soon. This same use can put someone in jail in Portugal. The decriminalization of hard drugs in Portugal was in 2001 for individual consumption.

“Anyone caught with more than a 10 days’ supply of drugs is still regarded as a trafficker and criminally prosecuted. In 2010, roughly one fifth of the country’s prison population was put there by a trafficking conviction,” the articled stated.

Portugal put forward a complete ban on the cultivation of the drug. That even means for the personal use of the substance as well. The country continues to lag behind the Western world in the approving of medical cannabis.

But two months ago, Portugal approved its first bill for the authorization of cannabis for its medical use. The use of substances  did not rise in a rapid fashion or really at all after the decriminalization.

That is, there were a number of fears over this decriminalization. However, this did not lead to many purported problems.

“In fact, recorded drug use has one down in certain key categories, including among young people and injection drug users,” the article explained, “‘There is essentially no relationship between the punitiveness of a country’s drug laws and its rates of drug use ‘wrote the drug reform think tank Transform in an analysis of Portuguese drug use data.”

There is further conversation in the reportage on the addicts, legal sanctions, deaths and infection rates going down, the uncertainty of how the decriminalization affects the benefits to the population (unknown pathways of actions post-decriminalization), and the decriminalization is not a panacea.

Photo by Tim Johnson on Unsplash

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 Call for the Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs

The Call for the Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to CBC News, there has been a call for the decriminalization of currently illicit drugs in Toronto.

The public health agency director for Montreal is in support of the work in Toronto for all personal uses of illicit drugs  being decriminalized. Dr. Mylène Drouin stated that the efforts towards and advocacy for decriminalization are a part of the ongoing dialogues around Canadians’ best potential public response to the ongoing opioid crisis ravaging the country.

Drouin’s said, “…one of the measures to consider in the public health response to a problem without precedence in numerous Canadian cities.”

There was also a Toronto Public Health released a report making urgent calls for the city council. It spoke to the need of the city council to lobby the federal government in order to decriminalize drug use in addition to increasing harm reduction efforts. Many Torontonians consider the approach to drug abuse or misuse insufficient at this point in time.

The statement by the Montreal public health agency spoke to the experiences of Portugal. This country – Portugal – decriminalized all drugs in 2001. This resulted in a reduction of the use of the courts with greater social integration and a reduction in both barriers and stigma for the users; those citizens dependent on getting treatment for their drug use.

The agency said, “They’ve also recorded fewer drug overdoses overall, a reduction in HIV-infection rates among drug users and a lower level of synthetic drug use.”

There is a $35 million anti-addiction strategy in Quebec. This was announced to help with the provincial efforts working to help with dependence on drugs and, in particular, opioids. There were over 1,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in Ontario in w017. Canada had more than 3,600 in Canada as a whole.

In Quebec, the population is about 2/3rds that  of Ontario and had only 181 deaths in stark contrast to the more than 1,000 in Ontario in 2017. The visitation numbers to the Montreal supervised injection sites doubled in the year “since the safe-injection sites first opened last summer.” This is a sign of a need, and a niche being filled based on the need.

Photo by A. Xromatik on Unsplash

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.

Cannabis Prohibition Can Harm Opioid Harm Reduction

Cannabis Prohibition Can Harm Opioid Harm Reduction

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to CBC News, Jason Mercredi, the executive director of AIDS Saskatoon, stated that many of his clientele uses cannabis in order to combat the more harmful problem of addiction to opiates.

Mercredi believes that the use of cannabis regarding opioids amounts to a harm reduction measure. His concern is the potential increased inaccessibility for people with a ban on cannabis use on property.

The reportage states that there is the potential for harm reduction with opioids ongoing. There may even be the potential for the decrease in the use of opioids through the use of cannabis as a first resort.

“It’s a form of harm reduction and it’s about to be a legal form of harm reduction, except for people who are in poverty and are renting,” said Mercredi, “It makes it quite difficult to cope with their conditions if they can’t use in public or at home. There’s going to be no smoking bars or anything like that.”

Mainstreet Equity owns several hundred rental units in Saskatoon. It announced plans to work on the ban of all smoking on balconies and in the rental units. This will include those who are in need and use medical cannabis.

Mercredi stated, “The number of apartments doing the bans make it fairly hard for people who are living in poverty to use, which is quite concerning… It’s only a matter of time before it goes to the courts.”

Nercredi noted that his clientele use cannabis for one of two reasons. One of those is pain management; the other is to deal with trauma. Those without a prescription will continue to stick to vaping.

One researcher at the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, Dr. MJ Milloy, explained, “The clinical trial evidence which physicians rely on to make clinical decisions, that’s not there… It seems like a no-brainer to have it so people can use in their homes.”

Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash

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 Responses and Costs to Addiction, Now

The Responses and Costs to Addiction, Now

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the Vancouver Sun, there is an addiction problem not only within British Columbia but across all Canada.

The questions about the health of Canadian citizens comes in the form of the addiction problems of the culture. The addictions not given compassion care, and concern but, more appropriately, the punitive and harsh approaches seen with heavier penalties in jails and reduction in the consideration for the external factors of individuals addicted to a substance.

The problem, or part of it, according to the reportage, is the difficulty in the ability to find and access the services needed for the population of addicts. Those who want to get or acquire the help but cannot get access to it.

It becomes an issue in the distribution of services to the Canadian citizens – disproportionately Indigenous – who most need the services. The tiny increases in governmental funding for these services are, as they  should be – based on the evidence, transmitted to the efforts of the harm reduction community.

Those people who adhere to the evidence, philosophy, and implementation via the methodology of harm reduction for individuals suffering from substance use. People are dying. They are being killed by overdoses at an increasing rate due to low funding and negligence of services for them.

The Director of the B.C. Centre  on Substance Use, Evan Wood, stated, “There are structural reasons that we don’t have a functioning system for addictions care that are driven by a number of factors, one being stigma. So, ribbon-cutting for things related to substance use and addiction have traditionally not been attractive to politicians… In recent years, we’ve had a lot of, a number of, courageous politicians who have stepped up, who have been convinced, so that is changing. But this hasn’t been an attractive area to devote resources to.”

Many of the users of substances in the province and across the nation do not  get the needed support mechanism due to barriers. Not for lack of trying. Based on a new report entitled “Strategies to Strengthen Recovery in British Columbia: The Path Forward,” there are a number of recommendations on the table in order to deal with the opioid and other crises involving substances throughout the nation.

These include the universal access to the addictions treatment paid for by the Medical Services Plan. In addition, there are about one million British Columbians who suffer from a the chronic illness known as addiction, which makes this highly prevalent and almost certainly means someone at some time, even right now, know someone within their own family who is suffering from addiction of some form.

The financial – leaving alone the moral considerations, ethical dilemmas – costs  are in the billions of dollars, which is a staggering amount of money to be taken into account given the kind of problem that we are facing; the form of crisis confronting us at the moment.

One co-author on the report, Marshall Smith, explained, “Recovery is for everyone. Can people always attain that? Not necessarily. And not necessarily off the bat. Some need some more support… That should be the gold-standard and the goal of every addiction program — to assertively assist in getting people on trajectory to remission, improved health and positive engaged citizenship.”

More information in the new report.

Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash

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.

Interview with Alex Betsos – Co-Founder, Karmik

Interview with Alex Betsos – Co-Founder, Karmik

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is Karmik?

Alex Betsos: Karmik is a nightlife/festival harm reduction organization based out of Vancouver, although they do work all over BC.

Jacobsen: What has been its developmental trajectory?

Betsos: Karmik started out as a conversation between myself, Margaret Yu, and Munroe. Margy and I met in Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Simon Fraser University where I did my undergraduate degree. I started out as the volunteer coordinator, in part because I was Margy’s resident drug nerd, with an extensive interest in harm reduction. We actually did a small harm reduction workshop with CSSDP back in 2013, and even worked a show at Red Room in Vancouver, but it never went further than that [I have a picture of this if you want]. Karmik since its inception in 2014 has gone from 3 coordinators and a couple volunteers just trying to figure out how to do harm reduction in Vancouver, to an internationally engaged harm reduction project. I’m proud of my little harm reduction baby, and it still breaks my heart that I cannot be involved at this time. I still do some advising for my former colleagues from time to time, but that’s mostly between friends having a beer at this point, nothing formal.

Jacobsen: Now, you are in graduate school. However, what has been your role in it? What is your current role in it?

Betsos: I am not involved with Karmik at this point. I stepped back, as my access to things like the Karmik email were a clear conflict of interest for me in relation to my future research.

In the past I was the volunteer coordinator. My job was to structure the training’s, organize them, and also be the bridge between the volunteers and the staff. One of the things about working at a tiny organization is that you normally pick up a couple of other roles too. I also did a lot of the more science-based research stuff, and at some point, picked up communicating with some of the music festivals and drafting the budget. On top of that all of the Karmik coordinators are also event coordinators. That means we go to events, and work with the volunteers to disseminate harm reduction information while making sure people are doing alright.

Jacobsen: How is your graduate school work (congratulations, by the way,) helping with the work in harm reduction, night life, and so on? How is it helping you deep interest in philosophy too, of which I am aware?

Betsos: I’m not sure how much I can say about my research at this point as it is in the preliminary stage. In the past, I have tended to focus on how drug knowledge becomes disseminated and contested. For now I’ll just say that what I’m doing is relatively similar.

My graduate school work does not have a direct impact on harm reduction, or at least not yet (also thanks!). My research area is medical anthropology and science and technology studies. I’m much more interested (at least for now) in how ideas about drugs come to exist. What are the cultural paradigms, the identities of people involved with drugs, whether that’s researchers, activists, or people who use drugs. I kind of come from a mindset where I want my research to be applicable, inasmuch as it shows the nuances drug prohibition. One of the areas where there is a real lack of research on drug prohibition broadly, is with non-marginalized people (that includes people who use drugs, but also people who create services for people who use drugs). My bachelor’s research, for example, explored drug knowledge on online forums, particularly focusing on research chemicals. In a world where drugs are illegal, how do people who use drugs acquire knowledge, and make decisions?

This kind of works in with my philosophy questions around what science is and how it is engaged with by a public. Even the question of what counts as knowledge comes into tension when you’re talking about the experience of drugs and what clinicians might say about drugs.

Jacobsen: How are organizations including CSSDP and Karmik improving the advancement of harm reduction in Canada and British Columbia?

Betsos: So, there are kind of two aspects to CSSDP, there are the local chapters, and then there is the national board. On the local chapter level, I’ve seen drug policy students push for naloxone training, access to drug checking, and safer drug information. On the national level one of the things we’ve done is put out a guide on cannabis education for youth that is based on a harm reduction model. By focusing on harm reduction in cannabis I kind of hope we can shift the perspective on harm reduction more broadly.

Karmik is the advancement of harm reduction in British Columbia! I’m exaggerating, but it is definitely part of the process of making harm reduction more broadly accepted. Munroe has put so much effort into making sure that people have access to naloxone, as well as being involved in working groups. Before Pemberton Music Festival went bankrupt, we had a sanctuary presence there for two years, and last year we did a pilot run on a new style of Sanctuary space at Center of Gravity. One of the biggest things I always thought was important with Karmik though was just providing people in the nightlife community with solid harm reduction information. There were no harm reduction booths at events in Vancouver really before Karmik (although there were some organizations in the past). When I was volunteer coordinator we also taught a lot of people about harm reduction practices. If that in itself is not an advancement, I’m not sure what is.

Jacobsen: What has been the feedback from the younger population and from the professional communities (academic and research)?

Betsos: I have never met someone that did not like what Karmik was doing. I’m not aware of much focus on Karmik in research. It’s worth noting that Karmik is kind of the small kid on the block. Organizations like Dancesafe, ANKORS, Trip! Project, have been around for a really long time, and so in a lot of ways they are better for studying.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Alex.

Image Credit: Alex Betsos.

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.

CSSDP UBC Hosts Art Show and Dialogue on the Opioid Crisis

CSSDP UBC Hosts Art Show and Dialogue on the Opioid Crisis

In Vancouver, there is no lack of awareness that we are in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis. With roughly four individuals in BC losing their lives to a drug overdose every day, many of us have been personally affected in some way by this crisis. Although we often see coverage of the opioid crisis in the news, what we rarely see is how students and young people in BC are experiencing this crisis. But, this isn’t because students aren’t affected. In November, members of CSSDP UBC helped facilitate naloxone training for over 100 students at UBC. There was such high demand for this event that the student society had to schedule another naloxone training party a few weeks later. Despite this, there is still a level of stigma attached to openly discussing experiences with opioids and other illicit drugs. We wanted to change that.

Our chapter received a community grant from UVic’s Canadian Institute of Substance Use Research (CISUR) to organize a community dialogue on opioids. CISUR’s vision of a dialogue involves bringing together individuals who may hold diverse opinions and perspectives to engage in a two-way exchange of knowledge with the goal of developing a better understanding of each other. We knew that we wanted to bring students together to share their experiences and opinions on various aspects of the opioid crisis, and we decided that art would be a great way to draw in students and stimulate these important conversations. We put out a call for artists to submit work related to opioids or drugs more generally, and within a few weeks, we had received multiple submissions!

On March 28th, we turned a public study space at UBC’s student union building into a pop-up art gallery. The gallery, showcasing a diverse selection of art, exemplified the wide-reaching impact the crisis has had on young people in BC. The gallery featured two photo series that depicted two very different views on drug use. One was a series of photos from a photovoice project entitled “Living in the Best Place on Earth”, led by medical anthropologist Danya Fast. This project involved marginalized youth on the downtown eastside using photography to capture their day-to-day interactions with various social and physical spaces that shape their risk of drug-related harm. The other photo series, entitled “The Good Side of Drug Use”, was created by CSSDP member and UBC anthropology doctoral student Hilary Agro and vibrantly depicted portraits of friends and new acquaintances who use drugs. This series, which was set at Burning Man, was shown to help destigmatize drug use by reminding us that many different people use drugs for a variety of reasons including pleasure and social connectedness.

Emily Carr student Dani Martire showed two installation art pieces made from one medical patient’s year’s worth of pharmaceutical prescription sheets and medication instructions. These pieces highlighted the challenges of navigating the medical system and how this struggle can be tightly linked with addiction. Vancouver Community College student Mildred German showed an oil painting that colourfully and powerfully illustrated the devastating role that social stigma plays in the opioid crisis.

UBC art graduate Emma Windsor-Liscombe installed a large floating scroll that depicted stages along the life of her cousin, who died tragically from an opioid overdose. Emma’s six illustrations across the scroll were in the style of ancient tomb artwork, illustrating her cousin’s struggle with addiction that started with being the victim of sexual violence at age 13. Finally, Seattle artist Aurora Bartells, showed three illustrations that reflect on the experience of opioid addiction from her recovery perspective.

[Insert Images 7,8 here]

We hosted roundtables with artists and attendees within the gallery space to provide an opportunity for students and young people to discuss how the crisis has impacted them and those around them, particularly in the context of being a student. We exchanged ideas about ways to move forward for a healthier and safer environment on campus during this crisis. In these discussions, students acknowledged that drugs are often used non-problematically and for a variety of reasons, but this fact doesn’t seem to shape the way many universities approach or respond to drug use. At a time when students may be at increased risk of harm from drug use that would generally be considered non-problematic in the absence of the opioid crisis, a take-away from these conversations was that campuses should have a spectrum of resources in place for students, from those who use drugs occasionally and without problems to those looking for help.

[Insert Images 9,10 here]

See the Ubyssey’s coverage of the event here.

If your chapter is interested in using art as a stimulus for dialogue around drugs and drug policy, feel free to contact Stephanie Lake, CSSDP board member and chapter president for CSSDP UBC: stephanie@cssdp.org.

Stephanie Lake

Stephanie Lake

Co-Secretary

Stephanie is a doctoral student in population and public health at the University of British Columbia, where she is currently undertaking research to better understand the links between cannabis, opioids, and drug-related morbidity.
Find out more.

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.