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

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.
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The Rave About Harm Reduction

The Rave About Harm Reduction

 

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original publication in VUE Weekly.

Image Credit: Pixabay.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

Public Support for the Harm Reduction Strategies for Opioids Moderate

Public Support for the Harm Reduction Strategies for Opioids Moderate

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

The Grand Prairie Homelessness Conference

The Grand Prairie Homelessness Conference

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

MADD and Lift & Co. Partner Up

MADD and Lift & Co. Partner Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

No Harm Reduction Upcoming Ontario Premier a Concern

No Harm Reduction Upcoming Ontario Premier a Concern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

Harm Reduction for Needle Debris in Lethbridge, Alberta

Harm Reduction for Needle Debris in Lethbridge, Alberta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bourque and ARCHES are open to suggestions from the public.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

Eden May Not Survive in Vancouver

Eden May Not Survive in Vancouver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

Peel Health In-Process Data Collection for Opioid Strategy

Peel Health In-Process Data Collection for Opioid Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

New UBC Professorship Focuses on Cannabis

New UBC Professorship Focuses on Cannabis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

Some Roadblocks to the Harm Reduction Efforts

Some Roadblocks to the Harm Reduction Efforts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

Change the Word, Change the Stigma

Change the Word, Change the Stigma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

A Dollar Store Has Been Selling Fentanyl Testing Kits

A Dollar Store Has Been Selling Fentanyl Testing Kits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen

Member-at-Large/Writer

(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

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

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

An Unsung Hero in the Midst of Windsor

An Unsung Hero in the Midst of Windsor

According to a short article from the Windsor Star, one frontline worker – among a class of people for whom I have a great deal of respect – is managing the AIDS Committee of Windsor. Roy Campbell has been on the frontlines of the opioid crisis since 1993.

Campbell works within the city to collected the discarded needles of users. He has an actionable for the community, which may be replicated elsewhere, I think. It seems cheap, but worthwhile to enact. That being, the incorporation of more disposal boxes for the health and safety of the community.

Otherwise, those who may be using will leave the needles on the street. In the city or in Essex County, he has been summonsed in most places to help with drug users and angry neighbours. One of those unsung heroes.

As the article concludes, “They call on him to pick up and dispose of needles that have been discarded on streets and in alleys or to talk to addicts who are using.”

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 on Campuses in Canada

Harm Reduction on Campuses in Canada

University Affairs reported that the opioid crisis is across the country. It is in the universities and impacting postsecondary students too.
As a result, harm reduction policies continue to gain traction.
Canadian universities may have opioid-blocking medication on-campus more and more. Or they may talk more about harm reduction policies, at least.
The main medication is Naloxone. It is a medication to save lives through prevention of harm, of overdoses for example. This could be on campuses throughout the nation.
As well, these moves reflect the change in the general culture. A change in the culture towards a reduction in zero tolerance or punitive drug policies.
In short, a change that reflects a general change into harm reduction methodologies. The goal is to aim for mature and responsible use of the drugs.
The harm reduction philosophy amounts to an acknowledgment of drugs as a part of society, while also working to reduce the associated harms.
People in a free democratic society use substance. The goal is to aim for mature and responsible use of the drugs. A Canadian CSSDP spokesperson, Michelle Thiessen, talked about harm reduction.
Thiessen founded the UBC-Okanagan chapter of the organization. She said, “There can be some tension between what we think needs to happen to educate people on how to safely use drugs, and the administrators being nervous about putting that information out there because they feel like it endorses substance use.”
In other words, she was speaking on the tension between education safe drug use. But she was also taking into account the understandable caution of administrators on campuses.
Because the association with the substances or drugs continues to be negative. This amounts to a stigma factor.
She was, in essence, talking about the stigma factor from the side of the universities. Because the evidence does note the stigma as an issue. But it is relevant because stigma about drugs creates a barrier to evidence-based policies.
However, the evidence is clearly in support of harm reduction policies. Our universities should act on harm policies in the light of the evidence.
It is, in part, a matter of messaging.
One clinical professor of neuropsychology at the University of British Columbia, Paul Dagg, commented. “There was the old messaging around drugs and the war on drugs. Now we’ve got to talk about safe use of drugs and make people aware that drugs other than marijuana have a higher level of danger attached to them now,” Dagg said.
Dagg explained succinctly, “There’s clear evidence that harm reduction education and interventions do not increase drug use.”
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.

Chat with Professor Gordon Guyatt on National Opioid Guidelines

Chat with Professor Gordon Guyatt on National Opioid Guidelines

Professor Gordon Guyatt, MD, MSc, FRCP, OC is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact and Medicine at McMaster University. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

The British Medical Journal or BMJ had a list of 117 nominees in 2010 for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Guyatt was short-listed and came in second-place in the end. He earned the title of an Officer of the Order of Canada based on contributions from evidence-based medicine and its teaching.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2012 and a Member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2015. He lectured on public vs. private healthcare funding in March of 2017, which seemed like a valuable conversation to publish in order to have this in the internet’s digital repository with one of Canada’s foremost academics.

For those with an interest in standardized metrics or academic rankings, he is the 14th most cited academic in the world in terms of H-Index at 222 and has a total citation count of more than 200,000. That is, he has the highest H-Index, likely, of any Canadian academic living or dead.

We conducted an extensive interview before: hereherehereherehere, and here. We have other interviews in Canadian Atheist (here and here), Humanist Voicesand The Good Men Project. This interview in Canadian Atheist does mean pro- or anti-religion/pro- or anti-non-religion. It amounts to a specific topical interview. Here we talk about national pharmacare.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: These opioid guidelines were the national ones. What was your own work here?

Professor Gordon Guyatt: There have been an over prescription of chronic non-cancer pain and a use of excessive doses of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. And, this has led to narcotic dependency. It has led to the narcotic associated deaths.

Everybody knows this is a problem. An earlier Canadian guideline in the days before people were really waking up to this, basically, did not say when to use opioids. It said, “If you decide to use opioids, what are the best ways? What are the guides for giving out the opioids?”

That might have been reasonable at the time. But, perhaps if anything, it contributed to the opioid overprescribing. So, a couple of years ago, and a few months ago produced, a national guideline for opioid use.

It starts out saying, “Before you use opioids, try non-steroidal, try drugs like Acetaminophen, try a number of other drugs such as those in the anticonvulsant class that have analgesic properties. Some antidepressants have analgesic properties. Bottom line: do not use opioids as your first, second, or third option. Try other things before you move to opioids.”

That was the first thing. The second thing we found out. Somewhat to our surprise: opioids were great for acute pain. If you give them for acute pain, they have substantial effects. But unfortunately, people get used to the opioids’ effects.

When you give opioids chronically, the effect is actually quite limited. On a visual analogue scale, where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain that you have, chronic opioids lower your pain by only 1 unit: 6 to 5, 5 to 4.

Very modest effect, it has lots of side effects. So, the guidelines say, “Do not give large doses of opioids. No extra benefits, extra risks, if you are going to give opioids, first try everything else, then when you try this make the dose modest.”

It also gave guidelines for people currently stuck on opioids to help them reduce their opioid use, maybe get off opioids altogether. A whole set of recommendations for dealing with the over prescription of opioids.

That will hopefully lead to much better prescribing.

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.

Canada’s Opioid-Related Deaths Predicted to Rise in 2018

Canada’s Opioid-Related Deaths Predicted to Rise in 2018

The ongoing death toll from the opioid crisis continues to rack bodies up, fellow Canadian citizens across the spectrum with some vulnerable populations hurt more than others.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that more than 4,000 people died from overdoses in 2017. That was the worse year in Canadian records. The rates continue to rise. It should be noted that the overdoses – the “vast majority” – link to the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Fentanyl kills people. Take, for an example of comparison, the 4,400 deaths by suicide in 2015. That means, the 2017 rate of opioid-related deaths become an analogue for he 2015 suicide statistics throughout the country.

Half that 2017 opioid-related death numbers would be the motor vehicle accident number with 611 by homicide. The provincial, territorial, and federal governments continue to pour millions of dollars in response to the crisis because Canadians are dying.

The main aim is to expand the harm reduction methodologies based on the evidence in place the decades-long methodology that is more punitive – shown to cause more harm over the long-term. The harm reduction philosophy in practice would incorporate “expanded treatment and harm-reduction services, such as supervised drug-use sites… [and expanded] access to prescription heroin and methadone.”

These harm reduction measures have been implemented and helped with the reduction of the harm to individual Canadians.

References

Hannay, C., Alam, M., & Keller, J. (2018, March 28). Politics Briefing: Federal dollars not slowing pace of opioid deaths. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-politics-briefing-federal-dollars-not-slowing-pace-of-opioid-deaths/.

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 First-of-Its-Kind Facility for Edmonton Soon

A First-of-Its-Kind Facility for Edmonton Soon

A novel facility will be opening in Edmonton, Alberta. The Royal Alexandra Hospital will open it second supervised consumption site for patients to do hard substances while at the hospital.

Of the acute-care hospitals in North America, it is the first of its kind. Dr. Hakique Virani in an interview on CBC’s Edmonton Am did not agree that safe injection sites encourage or enable hard drug users.

“At the Royal Alex hospital, if you were to remove everybody who was there because they smoke cigarettes” Virani said, “drink alcohol, eat too much, drive too fast, don’t take their medications properly, don’t wash their hands, don’t get vaccinated, it would be a very, very quiet hospital.”

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney disagreed with some harm reduction methodologies. If elected premier of Alberta, Kenney would not expand the program, e.g. supervised injection site or supervised consumption sites.

Many Boyle-McCauley residents oppose safe injection sites in the neighbourhood. In fact, the Chinatown and Area Business Association called for a judicial review.

“It’s interesting that you hear that from politicians but you don’t hear that from experts,” Virani explained, “That’s not because of political differences, that’s because of a difference in understanding.”

The Royal Alex site will be the second site alongside the Boyle Street Community Services site. There will be more men using the programs than women as there are more men than women substance users.

References

Riebe, N. (2018, March 28). Edmonton addictions specialist wants stigma taken out of safe consumption sites. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-safe-injection-site-opioid-1.4598086.

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.

Federal Government Eases Access to Methadone

Federal Government Eases Access to Methadone

According to VICE News, The federal health minister for Canada made a recent announcement about the measures being made for the easier access to pharmaceutical heroin and methadone.

These are treatments for opioid addiction. There is concern about the ways that methadone is a growing industry for the private sector. The updated regulatory measures would permit the healthcare practitioners to administer and prescribe methadone without the need for a federal exemption.

Diacetylmorphine, a pharmaceutical grade heroin, will be easier to access as well. 3,000 people died of opioid-related deaths in 2016. That number is extrapolated on trend lines to be over 4,000 in 2018.

The opioid epidemic is an increasing problem in Canada. The illicit drugs can be laced with “highly toxic bootleg versions of fentanyl and carfentanil.” Those doing the trench work on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic need the expanded access to methadone, which is good news with this updated set of measures.

All of this is in line with the harm reduction philosophy and methodology. The increased access for trained professionals to deal with the ongoing epidemic throughout the country in order to reduce the associated harms with drugs.

There has been scrutiny about the increase access when some patients do not get sufficient care and counselling. The clinics want to optimize the number of patients seen each day. One Texas-based company bought Canada’s largest methadone treatment facility.

A Women’s College Hospital in Toronto doctor, Meldon Kahan, said, “It should make OHIP [the Ontario Health Insurance Plan] really wonder about the fact that this chain of clinics is so profitable that an American company thought that there was an investment opportunity here.”

An Edmonton-based medical doctor and addictions specialist, Hakique Virani, was happy to see the removal of barriers to methadone access. He thinks Canadian citizens from the province of Alberta will benefit from the opioid agonist therapy – methadone or suboxone.

“I hope that making the treatment of opioid use disorder something that can happen in primary care might demystify this treatment area… And in Alberta, we’ve got several clinics that charge patients clinic fees in order to be on evidence-based therapy [methadone]… I think that we have to pay some attention to how much we take advantage of populations that are already on the margins.”

References

Browne, R. (2018, March 27). Canada sees dramatic rise in methadone patients as the opioid crisis worsens. Retrieved from https://news.vice.com/en_ca/article/ywxv7g/canada-sees-dramatic-rise-in-methadone-patients-as-the-opioid-crisis-worsens.

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.

Boy Stuck by Needle and Father Starts Petition

Boy Stuck by Needle and Father Starts Petition

One man in Kamloops, British Columbia is working petition on behalf of his son and others for the improvement of needle safety. The father, Jeff Arlitt, was called by his fiancé to find that his son Landon, who is 12-years-old, was pricked by an already-used needle.

Arlitt immediately went to create a petition to ensure better needle safety in the future. The traditional syringes are cheaper, but will be replaced with the VanishPoint syringes known to retract after use. It is safer.

Arlitt is the outreach supervisor for New Life Community. He said, “Obviously working in this field, I’ve dealt with many overdoses and I just see the problem out there with the needles.”

He notes that some of the public including himself have a fear when walking in parks. That you might be poked by a needle. If the needles retract after use, then the pokes are less likely to happen to passersby in the park.

The son, Landon Arlitt, was playing with siblings in spring break in the Kamloops neighbourhood when the group of kids found a bunch of needles simply lying around on the ground.

Landon said, “We grabbed the bag, tied it tight and we walked back and as I was walking back, I got pricked in the leg… I was worried… I thought we would have to go to the hospital.” They wanted to bring the bag home and tell his parents.

Landon went in to have a tetanus shot. He had blood tests too. His state will be monitored through April and May to make sure he is healthy.

References

Norwell, J. (2018, March 26). Kamloops dad starts petition after son poked by used needle. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/kamloops-needle-1.4594266.

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 Globe and Mail on Cannabis Legalization

The Globe and Mail on Cannabis Legalization

The Federal Liberal government has made it past the second reading in the Senate. One Tory senator argued that the marijuana legalization bill “doesn’t protect people.”

The Globe and Mail editorial continued that the ethical implications of the “wrongness” in criminalization of cannabis is no more harmful than alcohol. Prime Minister Trudeau disagreed with the Tory consideration, where the focus is on the protection of the people.

Trudeau focused on the outcome of alcohol prohibition and state coercion in the prohibition of cannabis as well. With legalization, he argues, this can prevent illicit forms of the substance, uncontrolled and unregulated types, from entering the hands, mouths, and bodies of children and adolescents.

“The political appeal of this message is obvious. It’s a savvy way to get nervous parents and cops on board,” The Globe and Mail opined, “And squeezing money out of organized crime is a happy side-effect of legalization that the government has every right to tout.”

The editorial talked about the narrow focus on harm reduction as potentially risking incoherence with legalization magically reducing the consumption of cannabis as potentially successful or worse as making a wish on a penny and throwing it in a fountain at the local park.

One Deloitte study reported that 17% more adult Canadians would use pot once if legalized. They pose a tacit question: How can we be sure kids and adolescents will not do the same? Children and adolescents should not use cannabis. What will stop them? The black market could still be extant post-legalization.

The restriction of the sale of pot to “austere government-run stores” may not work based on a proposal described by the editorial coming from the province of Ontario. “Premier Kathleen Wynne tells us, that parents don’t want weed sold next to candy bars in corner stores (unlike, say, cigarettes?),” the editorial opines.

The main critique is around narrow focus on safety and harm reduction and how this may impede the progress and potential success of the federal Liberal government of Trudeau et al.

“This kind of scare-mongering rhetoric is enabled by a federal position that has made a fetish of safety and restricted access, even as it legalizes the sale and use of a popular drug. No wonder it’s stumbling.”

References

The Globe and Mail. (2018, March 25). Globe editorial: Federal pot law pushes harm reduction at the expense of coherence. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-globe-editorial-federal-pot-law-pushes-harm-reduction-at-the-expense/.

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 First Harm Reduction Symposium in Saint John

The First Harm Reduction Symposium in Saint John

With the continued increase in the number of deaths due to the opioid epidemic throughout Canada, there are increased calls for proactive and assertive, and evidence-based, measures to deal with it.

Those measures tend to be harm reduction methodologies. That means that the main means by which an the experts and public can work together to reduce the overall harm of drugs in society while acknowledging these are simply part of the country.

Saint John hosted the first Harm Reduction Symposium to bring together doctors, former addicts, nurses, and social workers in order to converse on the opioid crisis in a group setting.

Public health nurse Penny Higdon said, “A multi-disciplinary approach, not one program or one department can solve some of these issues, we really have to work together.”

A pediatrician for Horizon Health, Sarah Gardner, said that there is a shift from an abstinence perspective and expectation of drug users or potential drug users to the idea that we can, instead, meet people where they are at and then provide harm reduction practices to them.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that 90 opioid-related deaths happened in Atlantic Canada. The total number for the country in 2016 was 2,861, which increase in 2017 and will continue to increase, or is extrapolated based on trend lines, in 2018.

Julie Dingwell of Avenue B Harm Reduction in Saint John has seen this growth from professional work. She said, “We’ve certainly seen more overdose deaths and our number of needles that we are providing has increased by almost 100,000 in a year and a half period.”

Harm reduction methodologies have been put in place in order to reduce the associated problems and public health concerns that come from opioid-related overdoses and potential deaths. These measures have included safe injection sites, Naloxone, and so on.

References

CTV Atlantic. (2018, March 24). Saint John conference discusses Canada’s growing opioid crisis. Retrieved from https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/saint-john-conference-discusses-canada-s-growing-opioid-crisis-1.3857278.

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.