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The Tyee looks at Vancouver's History of Drug Use and Abuse

Reporters Ben Christopher and Jackie Wong from The Tyee tackle Vancouver's long history with drug use and abuse. The series titled, Addicted City: Drug Policy and Harm Reduction in Vancouver, is worth a read especially if you are interested in Vancouver's struggles with addiction both past and present.

What do you think about Vancouver's city's battle with drugs and addiction? What do you think Vancouver should do as a city? 


Carnegie Community Centre on the Downtown Eastside

Drug Addiction Poem

I stumbled across this great poem about crystal meth addiction on the family friends poems website in their teen section. The poem was written by Amy Brunson and I think she did an amazing job sharing her experience with crystal meth.

Crystal
© Amy Brunson

Crystal was once my friend
She was always there for me
Whenever I was in need
She helped me through my ups and downs
And whenever I wore a frown
I thought we would always be friends
Until one day I realized I was stuck with her forever
She tore me apart
she took everything I had
She put me on the street with nothing but a garbage bag
she turned me family away from me
when I was with her I felt free
She made me think she was all I had
I didn't realize my life was getting so bad
She promised me I was good in her hands
She took away all my hope
And now she is what I need to cope
She made me feel so loved
Then one day I couldn't find her
I then realized she was a liar
she promised me things and I believed her
All she really did was promise to ruin my life
She took my family and now I'm alone
I guess now I am on my own
She left me with nothing but an empty glass pipe
Now I live in poverty with no one in sight
I think to myself with I ever get my family back
Will I ever live a good life again
Crystal is no longer my friend
She is my worst enemy
Now that you have heard what she has done to me.
Run away form this devil
Don't let this Bitch bring you down
One hit and your done
So my advice to you is run.

Is it mentall illness, drug-induced psychosis or both?

This story is about Lily, a 20 year old who has been a long time crystal meth user. The damages of crystal meth can be far reaching and permanent. Lily had been in hospital for three week, displaying psychosis; and although she was clearly mentally ill, we were uncertain as to whether or not this was organic (biological) or drug induced psychosis. The Outreach Team visited her consistently in the hospital, attempting to work closely with the hospital staff to collaborate on a suitable discharge plan. She was released to another shelter, but unfortunately two days later, she was hit by a car and admitted back into the hospital.

Our Outreach Team worked closely with the hospital staff to support Lily in her recovery. The hospital helped Lily to reconnect with her parents and she agreed to repatriate home to Manitoba. We picked Lily up at the hospital, helped her pack her bags, call her parents, and then drove her down to the airport. We coordinated with the airline, to have her escorted on and off the plane and to meet her connecting flight.

Lily called us a few days later to tell us she arrived home safely, thanking us for all our support.

We have our fingers crossed that her mental health issues were only drug related, and that she will see full recovery. 

Crystal Meth

Crystal Meth ravages the body and mind

Lily had been in hospital for three weeks. Lily is 20 and she was a longtime crystal meth user, and the effects of this drug can be far reaching and permanent. Lily was displaying psychosis; and although she was clearly mentally ill, we were uncertain as to whether or not this was organic (biological) or drug induced psychosis.

The Outreach Team visited her consistently in the hospital, attempting to work closely with the hospital staff to collaborate on a suitable discharge plan. She was released to another shelter and two days later, but unfortunately, she was hit by a car and admitted back into the hospital.

We worked closely with the hospital staff to support Lily in her recovery. The hospital helped Lily to reconnect with her parents and she agreed to repatriate home to Manitoba. We picked Lily up at the hospital, helped her pack her bags, call her parents, and then drove her down to the airport. We coordinated with the airline, to have her escorted on and off the plane and to meet her connecting flight.

Lily called us a few days later to tell us she arrived home safely. She thanked us for all our support.
We have our fingers crossed that her mental health issues were only drug related, and that she will see full recovery.

Crystal meth

Insite Safe Injection Site - New Ruling

The BC Court of Appeal has recently ruled that Insite will remain open. This has been a very hot topic causing debates not only in Vancouver but throughout Canada and the world. There are many different perspectives on this issue from that of the drug user, health care workers and hospitals, outreach workers and the general public. We are  curious to hear your opinion about this topic and we invite you to read about it below and have your say.

For the full story please see the following links.

Vancouver Sun editorial
Vancouver Sun article
National Post article

So what do you think?


 

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