February 19th, 2020

Treatment ‘pillar’ needed

By Letter to the Editor on August 24, 2019.

The Lethbridge Citizens Alliance (LCA) Mission Statement, states: “We will create a safe community for our children and other vulnerable members by promoting an atmosphere of continuous awareness and by pushing for 4-pillar (Prevention, Enforcement, Harm Reduction and Treatment”) results-based treatment of drug abuse to stop these drug issues in our city.”

“4-Pillars” means that in order for a structure or in this case a “solution strategy” to bear the weight of the issue (i.e.: Lethbridge’s drug addiction epidemic), all “4 Pillars” must “exist” and share the load. Should one or two of the pillars bear all the weight, the whole “solution strategy” will crumble resulting in a far greater danger and mess than before.

While, the location of the “Harm Reduction” Pillar (SCS) is in no way optimal, the SCS is the one pillar that is literally holding the drug addiction epidemic at bay. Close it and the reality of the “debris” in our streets, businesses and playgrounds will be dead and dying bodies, still drug paraphernalia, syringes, while escalating HIV, STIs and disease. Who will clean this up? Who will pay for this? How will our community be safer?

The one “pillar” that is critically needed NOW is “Treatment,” specifically co-ordinated wrap-around intox, detox, treatment and recovery, housing and mental health counselling.

Does this pillar exist to meet this epidemic? No, it does not. Who has the authority (jurisdiction) to build this pillar? The provincial government has the responsibility. What is the status of this pillar? Plans to build this pillar have been put on “hold” by the provincial government.

Yet, in the cacophony of opinions, rants and raves, there has been little energy put forth to hold the province accountable for their responsibility of building the “Treatment” pillar.

If we sincerely believe in the “LCA’s Mission Statement,” then it is critical to start “pushing for a full 4-Pillar results-based treatment of drug abuseÉ” The City of Lethbridge, Lethbridge Police Service, the SCS: not one of these organizations can build this pillar. Instead, ask the following elected officials – who do have the authority – where and when Lethbridge can expect the Treatment Pillar to be on the ground running to address the drug addiction epidemic:

The Honourable Jason Luan – Minister of Mental Health and Addictions 403-216-5444; Calgary.Foothills@assembly.ab.ca;

The Honourable Nathan Neudorf – MLA Lethbridge East 403-320-1011; Lethbridge.East@assembly.ab.ca; and

The Honourable Shannon Phillips – MLA Lethbridge West 403-329-4644; Lethbridge.West@assembly.ab.ca

Laurie Schulz


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6 Responses to “Treatment ‘pillar’ needed”

  1. Dennis Bremner says:

    As long as your 4 pillars are not in the City of Lethbridge but somewhere near the County border with the Blood Reserve I think you would find the city would be 100% for it. If you are proposing that we make Lethbridge another Vancouver Downtown East Side, then you will get Zero Support except for the 174 people making their living from the SCS!
    Not sure exactly what you perceive as beneficial because the Van DTES has existed for 26 years with the “4 Pillars” in place for 20 of those years and they have 4 times the number of addicts that they had 20 years ago, with multiples of that now dead. So no matter what, your choices are kill the city, and produce another Van DTES with Galt gardens being the new Tent City. Or you put your 4 pillars outside the city, including SCS and treat the addicts where they come from.
    Everyone wants to help, we just do not believe you sacrifice the city of Lethbridge to people who will rob/mug sexually assault and murder you to support their habit. A habit that now has a limited downside because death has been removed from the table because of SCS.
    You want examples of failed 4 pillars, they are everywhere, look at Vancouver, Antwerp Belgium, Rotterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo. The 4 pillar approach has been such a failure that Norway has abandoned it because Addicts refuse to Rehab. So they now arrest them and SENTENCE them to REHAB.
    What this do-gooders who make a living from SCS and the other 3 pillars will not tell you is the success rate of the 4 Pillars! In fact this same “guru’s” who try to convince you that the 4 pillars are needed are the same ones who refuse to break out Drug Addicts from their quarterly, semi Annual and Annual reports that are titled Alcohol, Drug and other addictions! They do so because they know that Alcohol Rehab has a far greater success rate then any other. So they summarize with success rates of 10-40% as the norm for every quarter. The reason they do it is because less than .2 of 1% are successfully rehab’d as Drug Addicts after 2 years of being off drugs. Which means that this entire 4 pillar program for 1000 addicts “might see 4 successes over a 2 year period of being dry. In fact they are so worried you will find out that the entire system is a farce that they stop tracking anyone that is a success story after 2 years because they know there is a percentage of them that also relapse. So much like SCS does not affect CSI bull, numbers are worked by every part of this “Professional Organization” and I use the term Professional loosely because they are Professional Con Artists who play on heart strings! Its one of the only Government Funded Entities that is never asked for results, because when asked they pull the “Savin Lives” bull!
    Start asking the hard questions instead of putting blind faith in a system that does not work, has never worked and takes advantage of every success as if “there are many many more” because there aren’t. These same guru’s also will not publish relapse numbers after 2 years because if they did, someone would question why the Gov is paying them for a proven failed system, but, so much is invested into the 4 Pillar system they cannot admit that addicts would rather die then rehab. Hence Norway says, Prison or Rehab, your choice!
    So before your heart bleeds, know what a bleeding heart does to Lethbridge

    For those that answer with canned messages, remember this. Europe has had open prostitution for years, they have prostitutes on Canal Street in Copenhagen in Front Windows displaying their “attributes” and people insist that Canada should make all drugs legal? Canada can’t even get together and protect prostitutes by creating a safe environment for them. Why? We are not anywhere near as liberated as Europeans and somehow you think we will pull a Portugal and make drugs Legal? For starters Portugal has 174 facilities to shoot up and regulate 10,000,000 people and 100,000 addicts. Canada has 34,000,000 is distributed over a square area 108 times larger than Portugal and has NO Facilities to accommodate legal drugs. So start supporting something more tangible like making the first step, which is Protect Prostitutes and authorized Red Light Districts, without that first change in mindset, then nothing happens “like Europe” which some of you believe is the “right way”. We can’t even agree on Sex-Ed content and you want the same people to move ahead with European thinking, makes me laugh how naive’ some of you are! We still believe that if your child sees “you and Daddy having sex” the child will be scarred for life, and will need Professional Help for the next 30 years of his/her life just to barely remain functional …and you think we can be progressive? ROTFLMAO

    • h2ofield says:

      “” I will probably post one more time, in about 18 months from now, to remind you what I said would happen, and did! “””


  2. phlushie says:

    Just think, Vancouver DTES has had the four pillars for 20 years (two decades) and has grown to 7 or 8 thousand addicts (just like counting sheep in a section of pasture). It has got so bad that some of the homeless living in the area are afraid to go out on the street. Do we really want this in Lethbridge? Just tune in to your TV and watch “The Walking Dead” to get a vision of future Lethbridge, if no changes in direction are made in addressing our drug problem. It is a problem because it is the addicts themselves who do not wish it to be solved, they just want to be assured that they will not die. Politically money is thrown at the problem and hands are thrown in the air when it does not work, and them legislate another solution. Meanwhile money is being made by those involved and no progress is made. Soon most of the taxpayers will be homeless due to the cost of this unsolvable problem, mainly created to make the wealthy wealthier.

  3. Dennis Bremner says:

    Another example of how no one actually comes forward with actual numbers. Bourgue works her “Aboriginal Numbers” of Addicts by including ARCHES services instead of confining her numbers to SCS numbers. Bourgue tells Lethbridge depending on the time of day numbers that continually change when it comes to drug addicts. She tells Lethbridge numbers like 675 or 875 one day when I have been saying its over 1000
    I know her projected number of Addicts which she would have to come up with for Federal Funding was at least that high. Then suddenly we find out the REAL NUMBERS all because Mr Mayor lets it slip while being indignant and calling for “Lethbridge to work together” which is code for “Work on his plan or NO PLAN”!

    I quote” If that site was ever closed and the drug users —1,300 drug users — went back into the community we would have far more drug debris and we would have huge social issues. – Mayor Chris Spearman”

    So now we find that we have grown from 180-220 Users on Bourgues application to 1300 USERS!
    Time we hold some of these people who always seem to “Misspeak” intentionally, so it misleads Lethbridge, accountable!!

    Going to be hard to walk back on this one Mr Mayor!


    “Spearman said citizens opposed to the site may not realize that homelessness in the city of Lethbridge has doubled in recent years, directly in relation to the drug crisis”
    So lets see Mr Mayor…. you start up SCS with your buddies Phillips/Bourgue and Manning, invite 1300 addicts of which over 1000 are from adjacent communities and somehow the residents of Lethbridge are “being slow” not realizing that your policy created a doubling of the homeless?????????????????

    That perhaps just maybe people that were critical of your asinine appreciation of 42 beds and over 1000 addicts did not quite meet the “standard for enthusiasm” but your undying love for anything NDP suddenly over rode common sense? But somehow us “Peons” did not understand your policy caused the doubling of the homeless in Lethbridge? Are you totally lacking any appreciation as to what you have done and are doing to Lethbridge, Mr Mayor??? Where have you been while protestors protest your city killing policy?

  4. Montreal13 says:

    About 3 years ago the provincial government was looking for a SCS in southern Alberta. One of the choices was the city of Lethbridge or area and Medicine Hat. Why Lethbridge was chosen over Medicine Hat ,I don’t know ? Does anyone? I was told that Spearman and the 2 MLAs ,at the time advocated for the site to be Lethbridge over Medicine Hat. I was also told that Medicine Hat was less than thrilled with the idea , so Lethbridge won out. Or perhaps Medicine Hat city officials asked too many questions? I’ve also been told that Medicine Hat sends those in need of a scs to Lethbridge.
    If any of this is true,I suspect that had city officials the opportunity to rethink their promotion of the city of Lethbridge as the chosen one, they may have pointed out we do not have the budget for ambulance and police service to handle this. The tax base is not here to handle it nor are enough support services in place before the flood gates are opened.. Why were detox centers etc. not required before a scs ? The questions and comments seem to go on and on,trying to make sense of how this was organized?

  5. Dennis Bremner says:

    As Spearman shafts the business community, more will pull up their tents and leave. That leaves falling Commercial Values then being reassessed creating less money from Commercial Real Estate so the obvious is Residential Real Estate. We will pay for people making $1500-3000 a month to piss their money away on drugs, so SCS can call them homeless and continue to distort this entire FARCE!