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Oh Peter, talk dirty to me…

September 13, 2016

I was sitting in another room reading last night when I overheard Peter Mansbridge on TV say that when “we return from the commercial break, a look at the high cost of addiction”. (My mom was watching the 10pm news.)

And in the same way you are compelled to slow down when you pass a car accident I immediately knew I had to come out and get the Mother Corp’s take on the “state” of “addiction” in the country.

After 25 years working on the frontlines with the homeless and the addicted, I remain naively curious as to how the mainstream media views such issues.

Anyone who has worked on the frontlines of the homeless crisis – especially the crisis in our urban centers, where the homeless count into the thousands – know that the media is about 1,000,000 miles from understanding what is actually happening.

CBC is going to look at addiction.

Peter Mansbridge will come back after the commercial break in his sexy, super-serious voice, a voice that no one loves more than Mans does himself.


Say it again Peter!

Talk dirty sexy news to me!

Ooo, the shiverings.

And Mansbridge does come back from the commercial break – after an ad for why A&W has the best burgers in the country, after a promo for a new CBC show about journalists who put their lives on the line to cover a story (CBC Toronto, for its 11pm local news, opened with the lead story about garbage piling up in a alleyway behind a house in Mississauga. Just saying…), and a commercial for a local Jeep dealership – Mans does come back in his super-sexy/serious voice to tell us about the hot new drug on the street, fetanyl, and how it’s spreading through the addict community like a California grassfire.




But, as always, the CBC crackers don’t know shit about addictions (except maybe scotch, or nose candy), especially street addictions – nor do they have any clue to the colossal government mismanagement (all levels) of addiction treatment programs, best practices, or addiction’s deep relationship to abuse.

Not a clue!


Fentanyl has the potential to do to the drug addictions community what HIV did to the gay community in the 1980’s.

And it will be for entirely the same reason: larger community indifference and/or larger community hostility.

My father’s generation of homophobes believed faggots got exactly what they deserved – so HIV had a decade to freely spread before people realized it had jumped the queer fence and had moved into the so-called monogamous heterosexual bedrooms of the white middle class burbs.

By then, millions had died, and tens of millions were infected, both here, and around the world.

Do we really think any more of drug addicts?

Of course not!

Why do you think there is only one treatment space for every thousand addicts in Canada? Why do you think 95% of government treatment programs used in this country are outdated and fail?

Treatment programs that people working in best practice approaches (a few here, but mostly in Europe) will tell you will fail – with reams of statistics to back them up.

In Halifax (as but one example), the ten publicly funded opiate addiction spaces available to youth are only open to you if you also stop smoking before you enter the program. Because, you know, 95% of youth addicts smoke (Hello! Addictions!), and because, well, smoking is illegal if you are under 19.

So, tell a kid that they have to stay clean while in program, and they also have to stop smoking at the same time. Failure to do so, is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.

If such a kid can make it through the 14-day program, they are then released back to wherever it was they came from, including the streets.

But of course this is what we do. Why would governments tie addiction support to housing support, and tie that to youth employment support and all of this to on-going addiction support and abuse therapy?

What are we raising? A nation of babies?

Why don’t we change their diapers too?

No, what addicts need is a little Old Testament moral fibre, tell them to pick themselves up by their bootstraps, and go out and get a job – stop acting like a bum!

As the CBC story last night noted, in 2012, in Vancouver, 14 people died of fentanyl drug overdoses. This year it is expected to be over 800.

Bums, all of them.

(And don’t get me started on the CBC whitewashed piece about the Crystal Serenity luxury cruise ship recently lurking in the far north that followed the fentanyl piece…)


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