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

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
praktik said:
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.

I appreciate what you're trying to say with his post but your numbers seemed picked at random and your information seems a little off. Spikes in purity have little effect on the overdose rate. It is periods of abstinence that cause the increased risk (recently released from jail/treatment centre).

The fatal overdose rate is 10% on the high side, not 40% on the low.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
ya I can accept that, It just seems to me that the "one overdose death" prevented a year is a little low when you consider that there 273 overdoses occuring at the facility according to lilnick... let's say 10% is fatal then we're looking at 27... and if we assume that half of these would have occurred anyway then we're still at a higher number than one...

3 million dollars seems like a lot of money but in the grand scheme of things there's plenty of millions that could be saved elsewhere...
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
i read somewhere (i will try to figure out where) that the $3 million figure is also being disputed. people running the site are saying it's closer to $1.5 million.
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
trying to obtain figures is misleading,
if a person requires health care at the treatment centre, its considered
an expense under their budget when it could have easily been incurred elsewhere at a hospital or doctors office.

its difficult to quantify the money saved from treating people's health care issues as a preventative measure when they use a safe-injection site vs. the possiblitly of contracting an infection if they had injected in a back alley, or had fallen ill and no treatment was readily availible leading to a fatality or incapacitating medical condition.

its also hard to attach $$$ signs to the broader benefits of a harm-reduction strategy. i agree these centre's need to prove their merit and prove they can do what they claim they could. but people seem to think these places are like factories churning out addicts and recovered junkies according to some set system...

part of the whole point of safe-injection sites is a recognition on the part of society that acknowledges the problem, and removes an element of illegality from it that snares so many people who end up in jail when they should be in treatment. people should consider the costs saved by law enforcement,jails and hospitals for every person who avoids landing there because they were somewhat removed from the drama of shooting up in parks and not getting some basic health care.

prescription drugs are supposedly the most abused of all drugs, and its especially insidious because its hidden behind a facade of legality, that people popping meds like percocet and vicodin which are addictive in their own right are in some way not as bad as the person that sticks a needle in their arm. the stigma associated with injectible drugs like herion is what makes the user particularily susceptible to falling through the cracks of a system that chooses to treat it as a crime first and addiction second.

imho.

j
 
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lilnick

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

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

I was thinking these more regional and local stats might be interesting to some people… I am aware of more data relating to injection drug use than smoking of crack...

Ready for some numbers?

Ontario Needle Exchange Data to 2004

• Ontario is estimated to have approximately 41,000 injection drug users, or about 0.2-0.6% of the population depending on the region. This is about 35-40% of the Canadian total.

• Models estimate that overall 4.7% of active injection drug users (IDUs) in Ontario are living with HIV.

Only a few Ontario cities have recent (2003) research measures of HIV among their IDUs:
- Toronto 5.1%
- Sudbury 10.1%
- Ottawa 11.1%

• Research studies have measured HCV prevalence among current IDUs at:
- 54.2% in Toronto
- 61.5% in Sudbury
- 75.8% in Ottawa.

*The lower prevalence rates in Toronto are often thought to have been the result of earlier, more proactive needle exchange in Toronto.

• Almost all IDUS living with HIV are co-infected with HCV; the total number of co-infected IDUS in Ontario is estimated at about 1,800. Co-infection accelerates the progression of both diseases but one-third to one-half of persons with HCV can be cured.

• Higher prevalence and incidence rates of HIV and HCV infection are linked to higher rates of cocaine use, use of previously used needles or other injection equipment, more frequent injections, and longer duration of injection career.

HIV and HepC are concerns with injection drug use and also with people that smoke crack, however, Hep C is the bigger concern when it comes to smoking crack. Historically, Toronto has had a good needle exchange; increasingly attention is being paid to “safer inhaltion”, as crack is more widely used here.

Here are some more numbers:

Although the exact number of homeless people in Toronto in unknown:
- Approximately 32,000 people slept in a Toronto homeless shelter in 2002
- In 2006, 6,500 stayed in a shelter on any given night

A recent survey of homeless people in Toronto showed that:
- 59% use at least one drug regularly (3 or more times a week) other than marijuana
- 23% who use drugs regularly reported injecting in the past year
- 49% smoke crack regularly in the last year
 
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lilnick

TRIBE Member
judge wopner said:
prescription drugs are supposedly the most abused of all drugs, and its especially insidious because its hidden behind a facade of legality, that people popping meds like percocet and vicodin which are addictive in their own right are in some way not as bad as the person that sticks a needle in their arm. the stigma associated with injectible drugs like herion is what makes the user particularily susceptible to falling through the cracks of a system that chooses to treat it as a crime first and addiction second.

Heroin is so a decade ago! One of the “advantages” of pharmaceuticals is that there is a level of “quality control”… Purity and strength are far more likely to be known than with “street drugs”, not to mention they're likely cheaper and far more easliy available.

From the Toronto Street Health Report (2007):

Drugs used regularly (3x a week or more) in the past year (2007)

Crack 49 %
Marijuana 48 %
Cocaine 30 %
Opiates / analgesics 16 %
(other than Oxycontin)

Sedatives, hypnotics or tranquilizers 16 %
(other than downers)
Oxycontin 15 %
Morphine 10 %
Heroin 7 %
Hallucinogens 7 %
Methamphetamines
(crystal meth, uppers, speed) 4 %
Downers 6 %
Methadone 5 %
Amphetamines (Benzedrine, Ritalin) 4 %
Solvents and other inhalants 2 %
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
lilnick said:
Heroin is so a decade ago! One of the “advantages” of pharmaceuticals is that there is a level of “quality control”… Purity and strength are far more likely to be known than with “street drugs”, not to mention they're likely cheaper and far more easliy available.

From the Toronto Street Health Report (2007):

Drugs used regularly (3x a week or more) in the past year (2007)

Crack 49 %
Marijuana 48 %
Cocaine 30 %
Opiates / analgesics 16 %
(other than Oxycontin)

Sedatives, hypnotics or tranquilizers 16 %
(other than downers)
Oxycontin 15 %
Morphine 10 %
Heroin 7 %
Hallucinogens 7 %
Methamphetamines
(crystal meth, uppers, speed) 4 %
Downers 6 %
Methadone 5 %
Amphetamines (Benzedrine, Ritalin) 4 %
Solvents and other inhalants 2 %

these polls dont capture the full extend of prescription drug abuse because their samples arent from a wider selection of the population. the problem is huge and espcially so because its so hard to find out who is abusing their meds, not something most folks would readily admit.

true that the catastrophic risk is taken away when youre dealing with cleaner pharmeceuticals, but the main problem of addiciton and hte associated risks remain.

if youre only after street people and the like then its a different issue,
unless your caught breaking into a dentist office or pharmacy to get the good stuff....
 

lilnick

TRIBE Member
judge wopner said:
these polls dont capture the full extend of prescription drug abuse because their samples arent from a wider selection of the population. the problem is huge ....

True... those numbers are from a survey of a particular subset of people.

From the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse - Prescription Drug Abuse FAQ...

Available evidence suggests that Canadians are among the heaviest consumers of psychotropic medication in the world. However, there are few Canadian statistics on the number of people who use prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. Indeed, there is minimal research information available regarding the extent of prescription drug diversion and abuse in Canada.

As a result, indirect inferences about the extent of prescription drug abuse in Canada are usually limited to examining distribution and sales statistics, and year-to-year trends in prescribing practices for specific classes of drugs. For instance, in 2002, Canada reported the fourth highest per-capita use of prescription narcotics in the world and the second highest use of sedative-hypnotics (including benzodiazepines). During that year, Canada was also among the top 15 countries in the use of prescription amphetamines.

A study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that 11% of admissions to substance abuse treatment programs in Ontario in 1999–2000 were for abuse of prescription drugs. It's 2008 now and I'll bet that number is up.

And check out this stat from south of our border!

Some U.S. surveys have directly examined the extent of prescription drug abuse. Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated that lifetime non-medical use of prescription pain relievers among young adults (aged 18–25) surveyed was 22.1 % in 2002, and increased to 23.7 % and 24.3% in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

That's 1 in 4! North Americans sure love their drugs...

:eek:
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
i work with a lot of nurses who claim that nurses stealing meds in hospitals to sell is a huge problem that is rarely discussed publically.

these surverys have to be taken with a grain of salt, like alcohollism, alot of people have drug problems while holding down full time jobs and leading otherswise conventional lives, making it difficult to spot, part of the stereotype of the drug addict is a street person commiting crimes for their next hit. theres so much grey, especially considering the clinical guidelines used to declare someone "addicted" to a particular drug may have applied to many of us at some point in our lives.... ;)
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
tony clement: political science and law degrees
vs.
WHO: scientists with like a billion years of medical education/experience


http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/08/06/hiv-guide.html

Canadian health minister resists WHO on safe injection sites

The federal health minister remains opposed to safe injection sites, in contrast to the World Health Organization's supportive stance on the harm reduction approach to HIV.

Tony Clement attended the launch of the WHO's how-to guide to fight HIV/AIDS at the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City on Tuesday.

At supervised safe injection sites such as Insite in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, drug users can get safe needles and cannot be arrested or prosecuted.

While the WHO is committed to safe injection sites as part of harm reduction programs, Clement said the sites encourage drug use, calling them a form of "harm addiction."

The organization's guidebook is designed to help low- and middle-income countries fight the pandemic, which the WHO calls "the most serious infectious disease challenge to global public health."

In stating the WHO's position on safe injection sites, the documents said: "Safe injecting sites are not a new intervention but simply a repackaging of existing WHO-recommended interventions such as needle exchanges, etc.

The guide includes tips on:

* Distributing condoms.
* Counselling.
* Accessing tests to diagnose HIV.

The documents said that more than 6,800 people become infected daily with HIV and more than 5,700 die every day because they have no access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.

On Monday, Clement pledged $45 million toward fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS in Africa. He said the funds will build on the $515 million that Canada has contributed to the international fight against the disease over the past three years.
 
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MissBlu

TRIBE Member
i put the World Health Organization on the same level as the World Trade Organization; which is not high at all.
 

wayne kenoff

TRIBE Member
MissBlu said:
i put the World Health Organization on the same level as the World Trade Organization; which is not high at all.

i put you on the same level as basketballjones, which is not high at all
 
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MissBlu

TRIBE Member
thanks Wayne!




anyways, there are muliple reasons why i have my issues with the WHO and WTO. so much information that i have read shows that both organizations have their limits, and don't always do much for the greater good.
 

wayne kenoff

TRIBE Member
what would you like the WHO to do? snap their fingers and make disease and malnutrition vanish? they do a ton of good work around the world. like any UN agency they face a lot of political barriers.

the WTO is an entirely different entity not affiliated with the UN. best not to lump them together.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
It's really not that difficult to see how safe injection sites help, but perhaps it needs to be pointed out:

1) an heroin user on the street is under a lot of stress, and stress increases drug use, so if you reduce that stress, you reduce the amount of drug being used; by giving the drug user a less stressful environment in which to use, they cut their use by 50%...

2) a person under less stress is more likely to take useful advice, so having options available for treatment, for getting them off the streets, etc., is more likely to be taken; by having people streamed into social services, drug use is cut once again by 30%.

3) a drug user who is not having to inject in dirty environments and/or share needles is less likely to spread or to get diseases such as HIV and hepatitis... I guess the idea of some people is that these diseases stay pooled in the injection drug users without ending up being spread outside... untrue, since, for example, buddy injects in the park, has to poop, gets runny poop all over the park, your dog licks it up and kisses you, or your kid plays in the park... your kid ends up being a hepatitis carrier, never being checked for it since you consider it "unlikely" that they'd be able to get it...

That's the short list.
 
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chloe69

TRIBE Member
This doesnt make any sense. They're promoting drug use. Whats next, condoms for the gays in the washrooms along the highway. So stupid.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
chloe69 said:
This doesnt make any sense. They're promoting drug use. Whats next, condoms for the gays in the washrooms along the highway. So stupid.

BasketballJones - when you login on someone else's account its netiquette to at least state that you are doing so and sign off on your post with your "real" tribe name.

That aside, promotion of the homosexual lifestyle is indeed a concern for me. Its not just the widespread availability of condoms in washrooms, practically promoting public acts of indecency, but also shows like Ellen and the suppressed-gay undercurrents of movies like "Happy Feet" that form the wider Homosexual Attack on the Canadian Family.
 

peko

TRIBE Member
chloe69 said:
This doesnt make any sense. They're promoting drug use. Whats next, condoms for the gays in the washrooms along the highway. So stupid.

are you a super conservative nun or priest who doesn't condon/acknowlege the need to promote safe sex? I'd wager more young hetro people would benefit from condom dispensers in public places.... step out of your medieval cave and open your eyes.

note: I don't think this post by chloe69 (lol, at the irony of your username and post) is bbj.

p.s. tobacco and alcohol are the real 'gateway drugs', so lets ban those too!
 

chloe69

TRIBE Member
Either its illegal or it isnt. They should set up a sting operation and throw them all in jail. Pretend its a 'safe' area to do the injections and catch them in the act. Get them off the street where women and children can see them and be corrputed. Same thing goes for the gays in public washrooms. Anyone that doesnt agree with me is either a drug user, is gay, or is related or knows someone who is. Face it, society needs to be cleaned up, its a mess right now.
 
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