Across B.C., fewer drug users are dying of overdoses. The number of
deaths has dropped from a high of 396 in 1998 to 133 in 2008,
according to B.C. Coroners Service statistics. In Vancouver, the
number of drug deaths is down from a high of 191 in 1998 to 30 in
2008. Proponents of Insite credit the supervised injection site,
which was opened in 2003. But the decreasing popularity of injectable
drugs in favour of crack and meth is also likely a factor.
Alternative Provider Sought, Says Coastal Health Spokeswoman
A Downtown Eastside youth-outreach agency plagued with leadership and
financial problems is being shut down by local health authorities.
Funding for the Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society and its
mobile needle-exchange vans have been terminated by Vancouver Coastal
Funding runs out Friday.
The sudden termination has left a crucial gap in health services in
the Downtown Eastside, said DEYAS workers.
"There is no transition in place," said acting chairwoman Bonnie
Fournier. "This is a vital service, not just for people who use
injection drugs, but for the community as well."
[continues 211 words]
Dr. James Chi Ming Pau
He looks like an unlikely activist.
In person, Dr. James Chi Ming Pau is a gentlemanly retired
practitioner of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. But Pau
is a Downtown Eastside tour de force who's been on the cutting edge
of drug activism for 30 years.
Trained as a nurse in Hong Kong, Pau immigrated to Canada in 1975 and
worked in geriatric care at Vancouver General Hospital. On the side,
he practised acupuncture, was key in getting the field recognized in
B.C. and served as president of the B.C. association for acupuncture.
[continues 289 words]
That Downtown Eastside Drug Arrests Are Declining?
A 2006 City of Vancouver report on the Downtown Eastside showed that,
contrary to popular belief, drug arrests in the area were actually on
the wane -- and on the rise in other parts of Vancouver. In 1997,
there were 1,153 arrests in the Downtown Eastside -- 75 per cent of
the city's 1,533 drug arrests. But in 2002, there were 1,782 Downtown
Eastside arrests, just 36 per cent of the city's 4,883 arrests.
That Alcohol Kills And Hospitalizes More B.C. Residents Than Drugs?
A Centre for Addictions Research of B.C. report reveals that between
2002 and 2006, there were 4,431 deaths directly caused by alcohol,
and 1,814 caused by illicit drugs. Stays in hospital due to alcohol
use reached 89,065 between 2003 and 2007, an increase of 3.4 per cent
from the previous study period. Stays in hospital due to illicit drug
use jumped 36 per cent to 22,381 visits across B.C.
That Vancouver Has A Long History With Needles?
Vancouver was home to the first free needle exchange in North
America. The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users program opened in
1989 and gave out 128,000 needles in its first year. Now it
distributes three million needles a year to an estimated 5,000 to
10,000 addicts. In the spring of 2002, the agency was providing an
average of 1,165 needles per night.
An unsupervised injection site supported by Pivot opened on Carrall
Street in April 2003. Insite opened in September that year.
Port St. Lucie News The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, or
DARE, taught in the public schools by law-enforcement officers is
popular. DARE has been around a long time and has become part of the
The St. Lucie County school district had to have a good reason to
consider eliminating the DARE program. That reason is simple. Numerous
studies have determined DARE is ineffective in reducing drug and
alcohol use and, according to some studies, might even be
[continues 191 words]
Population Is Up Fivefold Since 1980
The weekend riot at the Middlesex Jail in Cambridge has put a
spotlight on overcrowding at Massachusetts jails, where the total
population has soared more than 500 percent since 1980 and has pushed
many institutions well beyond their capacity.
The Middlesex Jail, which occupies the 17th through 20th floors of the
otherwise vacant 22-story former courthouse on Thorndike Street, was
built for 161 people but has long exceeded that population. Last
September it held 415 detainees, nearly 2 1/2 times its capacity,
according to the state Department of Correction's most recent
quarterly report on overcrowding at prisons and jails.
[continues 845 words]
EL PASO -- Tourists may be less inclined to visit Mexico. Media
outlets, though, are eager to send reporters and commentators to the
A Philadelphia-based radio crew will be the latest when it arrives in
El Paso next week.
Talk-show host Dom Giordano of CBS Radio's WPHT will travel to El Paso
for two shows about drug smuggling and immigration issues. In March,
CNN's Anderson Cooper came to town, reporting on drug violence in a
piece called "The War Next Door." In January the New York Times
described the sides of the border as "one violent, one peaceful."
[continues 557 words]
A couple of formerly fractious federal agencies are going to make nice
- -- officially. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have
effectively signed a peace treaty -- a memorandum of understanding --
that should allow the two agencies to work more closely together and
not get involved in turf wars.
A recent report from the Government Accountability Office took the
agencies to task for a lack of cooperation in the effort to stop
weapons from going into Mexico.
[continues 305 words]
It is difficult to be subtle about cigarettes, especially children and
cigarettes. Whatever we can do, as a society, to keep our kids far,
far away from smoking is laudable. Unless, of course, these efforts
Last month, the House of Commons passed an amendment to the Tobacco
Act, Bill C-32, that prohibits the sale of individual little cigars
and blunt wraps. Little cigars are sold in specialty shops that are,
statistically, not popular with the under-25 set. Blunt wraps are
rectangular snatches of flavoured tobacco used to wrap loose leaf
tobacco or, much more likely, marijuana.
[continues 641 words]
A city methadone clinic forced to move three times in six years will
open its doors today in Braeside--despite the outstanding concerns of
Second chance recovery, one of two methadone clinics in calgary, has
moved into a vacant medical centre in the Braecentre mall at 24th
street and Braeside drive s. w. the clinic has 500 clients who receive
methadone to treat addiction to opiates. a community meeting is
planned for tonight (7p.m.) at the Braeside community centre.
Catherine battled `fog' of addiction, depression behind manicured home
and flawless appearance.
Catherine's eyes well up as she recounts how "horrid" life seemed a
few weeks earlier. She had been "bawling uncontrollably."
The 37-year-old was fighting an addiction to painkillers, grappling
with acute pain and slipping deeper into depression.
She had thought of downing a bottle of pills, but feared one of her
young daughters would find her. After all, the girls often checked on
her, offering tissues to stop the flow of tears.
[continues 1115 words]