Over the five years I spent seeking treatment, my family and I encountered a seemingly endless series of obstacles -- from programs that couldn't accommodate me, to waiting lists that lasted much longer than my desire to get clean -- all of which combined to feel like the treatment system was designed for me to fail.
There has never been an independent analysis of InSite, yet, if you base your knowledge on Vancouver media reports, the case is closed. InSite is a success and should be copied nationwide for the benefit of humanity. Tangential links to declining overdose rates are swallowed whole. Thomas Kerr's claims of reduced "public disorder" in the neighbourhood go unchallenged, despite other mitigating factors such as police activity and community initiative. Journalists note Onsite, the so-called "treatment program" above the injection site, ignoring Onsite's reputation among neighbourhood residents as a spit-shined flophouse of momentary sobriety.
Heroin has recently claimed the lives of some unlikely victims in Toronto this year, and some others seem to be off the deep end nearing the end. My friend just died, apparently from snorting what couldn't have been a huge amount, on a rare occasion. From what I can tell, 2013 has seen a spike in opiate use, specifically smoked and snorted heroin, in Parkdale and beyond. I don't think the Dandy Warhols will save us this time; the only visible means to effectively address the problem is to explore the void that creates demand for it. From where does the propensity to knowingly consume a deadly substance in pursuit of release from a harsh reality stem?
WIth the recent cases of cannibalism as a consequence of using bath salts, a synthetic drug that's now easily found on the streets, people are wondering: Is this the beginning of the zombie apocalypse? Or is this merely the consequence of slow-moving, half-witted drug policies that in fact encourage this type of drug economy?