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Safe-injection site in B.C. wins court protection

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~Loress~

TRIBE Member
I've been living in Vancouver for just over 2yrs now, and I don't know if I'll ever become desensitized to the world that is East Hastings. This issue goes well beyond drug addiction, it's mostly a matter of (severe) mental health disorders. I'm not really sure if there's much else that can be done for these people.
I have mixed feelings about this topic; I'm going to hold off with any further thoughts until I've done more research.
 

lilnick

TRIBE Member
Michlerish said:
So stupid, they should have just closed down.

It's a huge waste of money. They calculate that they save ONE person per year.

WHAT THE FUCK??? :O

Please show me where you are getting your information because my sources tell me differently. Here are a few pointers about Insite, the Supervised Injection Facility (SIF) in Vancouver…

Average number of people visiting the everyday: 607

From 10 March 2004 to 30 April 2005 inclusive, there were 4764 unique individuals who registered at the SIF.

The facility successfully attracted a range of community injection drug users including women (23%) and members of the Aboriginal community (18%).

There were 273 witnessed overdoses with no fatalities.

During just 12 months of observation, 2171 individual referrals were made with the majority (37%) being referred for addiction counseling.

Harm Reduction, for some people, helps bridge the gap between active users and treatment. At Insite, more ARE accessing “treatment”:

The SIF’s opening was associated independently with a 30% increase in detoxification service use, and this behaviour was associated with increased rates of long-term addiction treatment initiation and reduced injecting at the SIF.

Michlerish said:
At the cost of millions of dollars.

I could see that money being spent on more useful means of disease and overdose prevention.

Under the previous Federal Drug Strategy, Treasury Board accounting documents indicate that of the $368 million spent in 2004-2005 on addressing illicit drugs, 73% ($271 million) was targeted towards law-enforcement initiatives. The remaining small piece of the pie was split among several initiatives, including treatment (14%, $51 million), research (7%, $26 million), prevention (2.6%, $10 million), and harm-reduction related programs (2.6%, $10 million). (source)

Since Harper has taken over we have a new “Anti-Drug Strategy”, which has removed all funding for harm reduction, and is spending more on enforcement, a bit more on treatment, and more on prevention (but the type of prevention campaigns that have been shown ineffective such as scare tactics and "Just Say No")

Ditto Much said:
I'm actually with you on this. Now for all we spend on illegal drugs cross the board the same argument holds. We spend some hefty numbers dealing with a tiny percentage of the actual population.

Then again if they propose opening a safe injection clinic on the other side of the city from me I'd probably support it, anything to get the real junkies out of my hood and into someone elses is alright with me.

Don’t think that opening a facility on the other side of town will get “get the real junkies out of [your] hood and into someone elses…”. But that’s not the point of these facilities anyway…

“Real junkies”, as you so compassionately refer to them, are humans from all walks of life, living in and amongst everyone else. Vancouver’s unique situation was that they had a huge concentration of injection drug users in one area, so where to place the SIF was a no brainer. Toronto is different in that we have pockets of people that use drugs in lots of different neighbourhoods... Likely we will need to open several smaller facilities across the city to reach those people. Perhaps some of your concerns could be alieviated by knowing this about Vancouver’s SIF…

The opening of the safer injecting facility was independently associated with improvements in several measures of public order, including reduced public injection drug use and public syringe disposal.

One of the concerns prior to the SIF's opening was that the facility might lead to a migration of drug activity and an increase in drug-related crime. Therefore, we examined crime rates in the neighborhood where the SIF is located in the year before versus the year after the SIF opened. No increases were seen with respect to drug trafficking (124 vs. 116) or assaults/robbery (174 vs. 180), although a decline in vehicle break-ins/vehicle theft was observed (302 vs. 227). The SIF was not associated with increased drug trafficking or crimes commonly linked to drug use.

Learn more here!
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
There was this thing called Prohibition way back when, and alcohol was an illegal drug, found only in unsafe drinking sites. Then, alcohol was made legal, and it became available in safe drinking sites. And guess what? That's what!
 
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kirstenmeows

TRIBE Member
It's not over yet.. the Feds haven't quite wasted enough taxpayers money so far...


Ottawa to appeal ruling on safe injection sites

The federal government will appeal a ruling of the B.C. Supreme Court that exempts safe injection sites from drug possession and trafficking laws.

CTV.ca News Staff

Health Minister Tony Clement told the House of Commons Health Committee on Thursday that he will ask Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to appeal the ruling.

In his ruling, Justice Ian Pitfield had said the government has until the end of June 2009 to amend drug laws.

The ruling essentially bought another year for Insite, Vancouver's safe injection site. Its exemption from current federal drug laws runs out at the end of June.

The Conservatives have said that treatment and prevention programs, rather than supervised drug-injection sites, are their preferred drug strategy.

Insite is North America's only safe injection site.
 

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
basketballjones said:
she still thinks of getting high as a party(her words), until the day comes when she thinks otherwise, all we can do is catch her when she falls, and she has done that many, many times


and


basketballjones said:
after awhile you have to stop enabling ppl and just move on, sometimes that is the only course of action

does not compute
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
ZOMG LOGIC BOMB
time_bomb.jpg
 

basketballjones

TRIBE Member
Bumbaclat said:
and




does not compute
it means when she decides she wants to get help we take her back to rehab, but so far no dice on it sticking

it doesnt mean anyone will give her money or any other kind of help unless it is to help get her sober
 
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lilnick

TRIBE Member
Hey Bumb! Don't run into you anymore :(

janiecakes said:
do you know what it's called god? i can't find anything about it.

Hi Janiecakes... thanks for the reference to "one person saved per year"... Interesting analysis done on that. :confused:

I've never heard anything about an SIF in California. San Francisco was studying the idea late last year I believe.
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
basketballjones said:
the harsh reality is that these ppl decided to do a drug that is highly addictive,

with all due respect i dont think you have any idea about the "reality"
of people dealing with drug addictions by choosing to refer to them in such broad terms,

the only harsh reality is your assigning blame on people with any sort of problem as if their "choice" is a black and white term, ignoring the many shades of grey that are beyond their control like their upbringing, environment or mental state.

basketballjones said:
there should be help for them in the form of treatment to GET OFF THE DRUG, not do it, and counselling and such to help them get on their feet after they have decided to become clean

but wasting money so they can do dope in a clean enviornment i disagree with

i can appreciate your disagreement with the methods of harm reduction,
and there are many within the feild, on the front lines of treating addicts who have mixed feelings on the issue. not refering to you specifically but some people assume social workers and addication councillors are pro-injection sites and stoogy conservative's are against them. its not the case at all.

but your arguement seems to stem from a faulty pre-conceived notion that drug accidtion, espcially a street drug addiction is a linear process of choices that starts with getting addicted and can end with the choice to stop, at which point social resources can enter the picture and bridge the difficult gap.

the issue is rarely so black and white and i would reconsider your ideas before you call out other people and demand their qualifications or experience in the matter.

i say this with no hint of sarcasm or jokes,
and for the record im not a social worker, an addict, former addict or
former spouse of an addict, and only lived in vancouver for 1 year and
spent almost no time in the hastings district, not enough to proclaim a personal association with the trials of street drug addiction. so my opinion is highly discountable.
 
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janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Michlerish said:
So stupid, they should have just closed down.

It's a huge waste of money. They calculate that they save ONE person per year. At the cost of millions of dollars.

I could see that money being spent on more useful means of disease and overdose prevention.

doing a little more reading, it looks like that one person per year figure refers to overdose fatalities only, and doesn't include lives saved by preventing transmission of HIV and Hep C.

what do you think more useful means of disease and overdose prevention would be?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
judge wopner said:
but your arguement seems to stem from a faulty pre-conceived notion that drug accidtion...

It also stems from a chip on his shoulder regarding empty-headed, naive "do-gooders" trying to fix drug addiction with "hugs and good feelings". After whittling him down on the "taxpayer's money" argument it seems that was all that's left...

judge wopner said:
so my opinion is highly discountable.

Be warned that your perceived support for Insite will be seen by our dear friend as a reason to put you in his "do-gooder" box..;)
 

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
lilnick said:
Hey Bumb! Don't run into you anymore :(

I know, I never leave my house anymore, school is crushing my free spirit. Hopefully I'll see you soon, this nice weather should get me outdoors.
 
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Michlerish

Well-Known TRIBEr
janiecakes said:
doing a little more reading, it looks like that one person per year figure refers to overdose fatalities only, and doesn't include lives saved by preventing transmission of HIV and Hep C.

what do you think more useful means of disease and overdose prevention would be?

Not sure.
But after reading praktik's posts on the first page, I changed my mind a little. He made some excellent points that I hadn't thought of... so I decided to withhold comment until I'd done some more research.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
janiecakes said:
doing a little more reading, it looks like that one person per year figure refers to overdose fatalities only, and doesn't include lives saved by preventing transmission of HIV and Hep C.

what do you think more useful means of disease and overdose prevention would be?

What I don't understand is what they counted as "one life". Lilnick said that "there were 273 witnessed overdoses with no fatalities". These people are buying their drugs off the street, and one of the dilemmas caused by creating a black market in heroin and cocaine is that purity becomes unpredictable. It is likely that many of these overdoses would have occurred even if the drugs were consumed off-site, because overdoses are often caused by hidden spikes in purity that catch users off-guard. Let's say that 70% of these cases were caused by purity fluctuations, that leaves us with around 171 overdoses that we can say would have occurred even if consumed off-site.

Overdoses require immediate attention in the extremely short-term, the lucky ones get treatment and live, if we assume the city would have seen 171 overdoses even without Insite, there's probably a fair number of them that would have resulted in death due to not getting care in time -> say 40%, to low-ball it a bit...

That means that Insite's supervision and intervention saved at least 68 lives, and that's a conservative figure.

If there were 68 lawyers that could be saved with the money going to Insite, you can bet we wouldn't bat an eye...

And besides all that, the "lives saved" metric is just one of many you can use to evaluate Insite and shouldn't be the sole deciding factor.
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
looks like toronto is now studying safe drug use sites. good news.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080530.wdrug30/BNStory/lifeMain/

Toronto to study safe drug-use sites
Councillor criticizes Conservative government's drug strategy for 'taking giant steps back' in reducing addiction
JEFF GRAY

Globe and Mail Update

May 30, 2008 at 5:51 AM EDT

Toronto public-health officials say they are going ahead with a long-promised study of the feasibility of safe drug-use sites in the city, even as the federal government says it will appeal a B.C. court ruling that allows Vancouver's controversial safe-injection site to stay open.

While city council passed a wide-reaching drug strategy in 2005 calling for a study of the concept, Toronto Public Health only recently received provincial funding to strike a committee to start looking into the idea and consulting experts, police, community members and drug users.

The committee's report on the idea, and any recommendations, remain six to 12 months away, said Shaun Hopkins, manager of the Toronto Public Health's current needle-exchange program, which also distributes "safer" crack kits.

"We'll be talking to community members, drug users and anybody who would be affected by it," Ms. Hopkins said, adding that the city's current needle exchange, aimed at curtailing the spread of HIV among drug users, distributes 700,000 free needles a year.

City Councillor Gord Perks - who co-chairs the city's drug strategy implementation task force - said the city should "start a conversation" with Torontonians on the idea, which proponents say allows addicts to use drugs in a safe environment, instead of on the street, reducing the risks of transmitting diseases and overdoses.

"We already have a lot of safe consumption sites in the city of Toronto: They're called bars," Mr. Perks said. "Alcohol is an addictive substance that can cause all kinds of behavioural problems and actually causes more harm, in terms of harm to the community, danger, violent behaviour and so on, than any substance."

He criticized the Conservative government's approach to drugs and its recent drug strategy. "The federal government ... has been taking giant steps back from where the rest of the world is, in terms of figuring out how to reduce the harms caused by drug use."

Toronto's drug strategy places restrictions on any future safe drug consumption site, including that any study of the idea must include input from businesses and local residents, and that the federal and provincial governments and police must all agree to it.

City Councillor Kyle Rae, the driving force behind the city's drug strategy when it passed three years ago, said Toronto's drug problems are different than Vancouver's, where the Insite safe-injection site serves heroin addicts.

In Toronto, crack cocaine is much more prevalent than heroin among street drug users. Drug abuse is spread across the city in several neighbourhoods, with nowhere near the concentration in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Mr. Rae said a safe-inhalation site for crack users - such as one that operates in Frankfurt - is worth exploring.

Ms. Hopkins also said one possibility for Toronto would be small safe-use centres in various sites across the city.
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
Gord Perks said:
"We already have a lot of safe consumption sites in the city of Toronto: They're called bars," Mr. Perks said. "Alcohol is an addictive substance that can cause all kinds of behavioural problems and actually causes more harm, in terms of harm to the community, danger, violent behaviour and so on, than any substance."

Bwahaha, looks like someone has been reading postmod's posts in this thread.
 
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