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Old 09-17-2003, 12:51 AM   #31
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Angela - I agree with you that this won't help addiction, itself, a great deal. However, neither will not having the injection site. 34 people have already died of overdoses this year on the streets, and the heroin lifestyle isn't slowing down at all. Dirty needles are rampent, and disease is spreading. The only difference between the two scenarios (the site vs. the streets) is one is able to curb disease and make the environment safer, while the other doesn't. All things being equal, I would choose the former.
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Old 09-17-2003, 12:59 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
These people need more than just safe clean heroin and syringes, they need help finding work if they are unemployed, help settling back into a life that does not exist for drugs, help staying clear of those who prove too much of a temptation.
I should add, Vancouver has many programs like this already...that's part of the beauty of living in Canada I guess.

Other than that, you cannot force people to enter programs. If you can get them into a safer enviroment, at least you have the opportunity to give them hope...and then maybe they would be more willing to change. Conversely, leaving them on the streets would not help in any way...and would in fact be detrimental to all concerned.
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Old 09-17-2003, 05:13 AM   #33
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I completely support this idea. I'm not in any way condoning heroin use, I know several people who are/have been addicted to heroin and I think it's a horrible destructive drug. But this project doesn't encourage drug use, it just does what it can to alleviate some of the dangers of drug abuse.

For those people who are always all about the money, think about how much money the government can save if instead of treating people with HIV/AIDS (extremely costly) it can (very cheaply) prevent people becoming infected with HIV.

I used to work in a pharmacy where we operated a needle exchange scheme, which basically means that people can exchange used needles for clean ones and so avoid many of the problems they experience from sharing them. I worked there for two years and I *never* had any objection to any of the people who used the scheme. Then some idiots in the town found out about it and suddenly decided that it must stop immediately because they didn't like us "attracting junkies to the area." The person who owned the pharmacy was a spineless little coward and so we stopped providing the needle exchange. Guess what the result of that was...
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Old 09-17-2003, 05:24 AM   #34
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Yeah I agree for the most part. My objection though, just to clarify, doesn't mean I support the opposite which is to do nothing and leave these people on the streets to die there, or risk disease etc. I dont agree with either option. There are others. I wonder what percentage of patrons in these rooms are those wanting to change. It takes more than a willingness to overcome the addiction so even with the bare minimum of wanting to, how would this really help? I dont think it will.
Years ago people objected to methadone programs. Now it is legal injecting rooms. Complacency will take hold. Years ago, there was a huge outrage at the 'trial' clinic in Kings Cross. It was never a trial. It was always here to stay.
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Old 09-17-2003, 05:56 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
i hope there are cops waiting outside the doors to arrest all of those 800 people as they leave. how in the hell can a government help people shoot heroin? OK... fine... the heroin users will now be safer against diseases from shared needles. great... but there's a little side effect to this... THEY'RE USING HEROIN!!! Now if you want to give people a place where they can go get help to fight their addiction, without fear of being arrested, that I am all for. What is this really doing? OK fine... they won't overdose. Even if they don't overdose, heroin users still won't be able to live a long and productive life, unless they stop taking heroin. So the death might not be immediate, but using the drug will still eventually end your life prematurely. i don't get it. how are you fighting one certain death by promoting another? ok... you help fight the spread of aids by aiding the use of heroin? i guess you can make the argument that heroin users can give aids to non heroin users. but i still can't support a place that allows people to legaly use heroin. our goal shouldn't be containing drug use, it should be eliminating drug use.

I live in Vancouver and anybody else who does (Michael) knows how bad the heroin situation is and has been here for the past 30 years. There is so many addicts wondering around the Downtown Eastside like zombies that it's like a war zone. 90% of those thousands of addicts have Hepatitis C which means they will eventually die from that never even mind about how many have HIV. Take a trip down any alley around Hastings street and you will see these people huddled in corners shooting up by taking dirty water from puddles iin the ground, then they pass the dirty needles to their friends who use them to also inject. For those who don't know, sharing dirty needles is how diseases and viruses like HIV and hep c are spread.

Frankly it disgusts me what you just wrote there, these people have little to no hope, they have broken lives that go beyond anything you will probably ever go through. I was in Vancouvers big detox to come off some pills a few years ago and I saw these guys for a week come in and live their miserable lives which were full of lies and deception and all their dignity thrown to the ground by people who have views like yours. Once you get past their bad personalities which are a direct effect of the drugs or withdrawl of the drugs you then see that these people are human beings just like you but who for whatever reason are in a really bad and I mean really bad situation where there is little to no help left for them. This is where a thing called compassion comes in. By the way 90% of the worlds heroin comes from the poppy fields of Afghanistan which is now controlled by the U.S. There is more heroin coming from there then there was when the Taliban was in power. What I don't understand is if the U.S. is so against drugs why are they allowing the poppy fields to bloom in Afghanistan ? If the Taliban could outlaw the cultivation of poppies then why can't the U.S. forces crack down and burn the poppy fields ?

I don't know how you can be a U2 fan and feel the way you do by writing what you wrote. You must really hate this song then.


If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could , yes I would
If I could , I would
Let it go
Surrender
Dislocate
If I could throw this
Lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk , walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half -light
And through the flame
If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break , break away
Into the light
And to the day
To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no
If you should ask then maybe they'd
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash , collide in blood shot eyes
If I could , you know I would
If I could , I would
Let it go...
This desperation
Dislocation
Separation
Condemnation
Revelation
In temptation
Isolation
Desolation
Let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so to fade away
I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no
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Old 09-17-2003, 06:47 AM   #36
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Angela, I think you're picturing this building the wrong way.

I get the idea that you believe it is some clean empty building they walk into and shoot up with clean needles.

I'm sure there is a large staff of care givers there who afford the addict every opportunity to quit or lets them know that they are there for them if they DO decide to quit. But they don't force anyone to do anything. I'm sure it isn't manned by an army of uncompassionate drones.
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Old 09-17-2003, 06:49 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by EvolutionMonkey



Take a trip down any alley around Hastings street and you will see these people huddled in corners shooting up by taking dirty water from puddles iin the ground, then they pass the dirty needles to their friends who use them to also inject. For those who don't know, sharing dirty needles is how diseases and viruses like HIV and hep c are spread.

that is a very disturbing and moving description. I may be moving to Vancouver in a year, as well...would almost make me second guess that move!!
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Old 09-17-2003, 06:57 AM   #38
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Basstrap, I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion, but its not accurate.
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:16 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I wonder what percentage of patrons in these rooms are those wanting to change. It takes more than a willingness to overcome the addiction so even with the bare minimum of wanting to, how would this really help? I dont think it will.
Years ago people objected to methadone programs. Now it is legal injecting rooms. Complacency will take hold.
just cos of comment like this which make it seem like nobody will be around to support them should them want to quit

but I'm sorry. I intrepreted wrongly.

on another note...I'm doubtful that Heroine use will ever become complacent...I think that is all but impossible.
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:38 AM   #40
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Ah ok, sorry about that. I was genuinely wondering what kind of percentage do use these rooms for that purpose. I'm sure yours will be much like ours with a number of social and church workers etc on hand to aid anyone who is after it.

On your last bit, I sincerely hope that is the case. There was huge public outcry when our clinic first opened, now there is some quiet about it after it even being announced most likely to stay. That could be in part due to the figures released on how many lives it has saved and all that, and saving lives is always a good thing, I wont say it isn't. I think after time, we get comfortable with previously unheard of approaches and the like. I guess I see this is one of them.
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Old 09-17-2003, 12:40 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by EvolutionMonkey



I live in Vancouver and anybody else who does (Michael) knows how bad the heroin situation is and has been here for the past 30 years. There is so many addicts wondering around the Downtown Eastside like zombies that it's like a war zone. 90% of those thousands of addicts have Hepatitis C which means they will eventually die from that never even mind about how many have HIV. Take a trip down any alley around Hastings street and you will see these people huddled in corners shooting up by taking dirty water from puddles iin the ground, then they pass the dirty needles to their friends who use them to also inject. For those who don't know, sharing dirty needles is how diseases and viruses like HIV and hep c are spread.

Frankly it disgusts me what you just wrote there, these people have little to no hope, they have broken lives that go beyond anything you will probably ever go through. I was in Vancouvers big detox to come off some pills a few years ago and I saw these guys for a week come in and live their miserable lives which were full of lies and deception and all their dignity thrown to the ground by people who have views like yours. Once you get past their bad personalities which are a direct effect of the drugs or withdrawl of the drugs you then see that these people are human beings just like you but who for whatever reason are in a really bad and I mean really bad situation where there is little to no help left for them. This is where a thing called compassion comes in. By the way 90% of the worlds heroin comes from the poppy fields of Afghanistan which is now controlled by the U.S. There is more heroin coming from there then there was when the Taliban was in power. What I don't understand is if the U.S. is so against drugs why are they allowing the poppy fields to bloom in Afghanistan ? If the Taliban could outlaw the cultivation of poppies then why can't the U.S. forces crack down and burn the poppy fields ?

I don't know how you can be a U2 fan and feel the way you do by writing what you wrote. You must really hate this song then.


If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could , yes I would
If I could , I would
Let it go
Surrender
Dislocate
If I could throw this
Lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk , walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half -light
And through the flame
If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break , break away
Into the light
And to the day
To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no
If you should ask then maybe they'd
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash , collide in blood shot eyes
If I could , you know I would
If I could , I would
Let it go...
This desperation
Dislocation
Separation
Condemnation
Revelation
In temptation
Isolation
Desolation
Let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so to fade away
I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no
Great post from someone who has also seen the situation first hand.
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Old 09-17-2003, 01:02 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap


that is a very disturbing and moving description. I may be moving to Vancouver in a year, as well...would almost make me second guess that move!!
Oh, Basstrap, Vancouver will get inside your blood, and you'll love it. It's a city of contradictions. It has the cold, reptilian side (the business elite), the warm, kind of granola aspect (the hippies), the Eastern and Asian aspect, the European aspect (Commercial Drive), the Yuppies (Yaletown), the yuppies who are wannabe hippies (Kitsilano), the outdoor adventurists (all of the above--hey, it's Vancouver!), and of course it also has its dark sides. Despite all of this, it's by far the most breathtaking city in North America (scenery wise)....It has the beaches, and also the ski hills 10 minutes away. You can go skiing, golfing, and sailing in the same day. It's truly unique...and has such a creative energy. Just ask Michael Stipe from REM who keeps raving about it after recording their new album here. You'll love it.

Just to add a little inspiration for ya'







The part of Hastings Street that has the drug scene is such a tiny part of the city (though it's right next to the most touristy part of Vancouver, Gas Town...go figure?).
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Old 09-17-2003, 01:54 PM   #43
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i don't know what my opinions on this have anything to do with me being a u2 fan, but anyways.

first off, don't say " beyond anything you will probably ever go through" without knowing who you're talking to. you're right. i don't know what it's like to be a heroin addict. i do know what it's like to go to so many funerals in just a month's time that you start to lose track. i do know what it's like to see the wife of a friend give birth to a baby daughter a month and a half after that friend died suddenly simply by showing up to his 84th floor office for just another day of work.

who puts the first needle into vein? who's choice is it to start using heroin? i have a very good friend who was addicted to coke. i did not feel compassion when he lost his job because he was consistantly late. i did not feel compassion when he was arrested. drugs are an addiction, yes. but it can't become an addiction unless you yourself chose to start using it. it is a life choice. you bring the addiction upon yourself by picking up the needle that first time. what i did do was support him 100% when he went into rehab. and i am incredibly proud of him now that he's overcome his addiction.

that is my point... if my friend was given a place where he could legally use coke? he'd still be an addict today. no doubt in my mind, or his, for that matter (i asked him about this just last night). he needed the humiliation of losing his job and being sent to jail in order to get the message to him that, hey... this is ruining my life. by giving addicts a place where they can continue to be addicts may help slow the spread of disease, but it does nothing to stop addiction. i'm not willing to give up and say "hey, you can't get rid of the drugs, so let's just make it as safe as possiable to use." that's no good for me. that to me is giving up on the addicts. so where is the compassion in that?
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Old 09-17-2003, 02:20 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase


who puts the first needle into vein? who's choice is it to start using heroin? i have a very good friend who was addicted to coke. i did not feel compassion when he lost his job because he was consistantly late. i did not feel compassion when he was arrested. drugs are an addiction, yes. but it can't become an addiction unless you yourself chose to start using it. it is a life choice. you bring the addiction upon yourself by picking up the needle that first time. what i did do was support him 100% when he went into rehab. and i am incredibly proud of him now that he's overcome his addiction.
I don't think anyone is debating whether or not it is a choice. The point is people make bad choices all the time, everyone. Everyone pays for that "life choice" in some way or another.

Acting compassionate and feeling compassionate are two different things. The mark of a truly caring and compassionate society is when you act as if you love, as if you feel compassion, even though you might not or think they do not deserve it.

Quote:
that is my point... if my friend was given a place where he could legally use coke? he'd still be an addict today. no doubt in my mind, or his, for that matter (i asked him about this just last night). he needed the humiliation of losing his job and being sent to jail in order to get the message to him that, hey... this is ruining my life. by giving addicts a place where they can continue to be addicts may help slow the spread of disease, but it does nothing to stop addiction. i'm not willing to give up and say "hey, you can't get rid of the drugs, so let's just make it as safe as possiable to use." that's no good for me. that to me is giving up on the addicts. so where is the compassion in that?
I do not understand how a safe place to do cocaine would have prevented lateness or incompetence at work for your friend.

Again, the sight is not meant to treat addiction. The introduction of safe injection sights does not mean that other measures to prevent addiction will be reduced. It recognises the inescapable truth that there are drug users despite the efforts to stop addiction.

Another thing to recognise is that most of these people don't have a job to lose. They have been driven to the streets for other reasons like poverty and abuse. They are already humiliated which is why they turn to escape. How can you ignore this context?
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Old 09-17-2003, 03:03 PM   #45
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The state should just give them the drugs. Since these people don't have jobs, they probably steal or sell themselves to pay for the drugs, which puts the public at risk.
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