October 31st, 2020

Look at the effects, not perception


By Letter to the Editor on March 13, 2020.

The most telling reportage on the Supervised Consumption Site report showed up on the second page, at the very end of the article, in the March 6 Herald, where Rod Knect, the co-chair of the review panel, told a reporter: “ÉWhen people are using the site itself, they’re being supervised, they’re tended to, their street wounds are being looked afterÉ”

“And specific to needle debrisÉ those people that are injecting in the supervised consumption sites, those needles are being disposed of in a safe and healthy mannerÉ The challenge is getting more people using the sitesÉ The rise of debris (is) as a consequence of people not using the supervised consumption sites.”

Can’t say it much clearer than that.

Even Blaine Hyggen, who’s tied his mayoral aspirations to pushing back against the site, after rehashing the negative perceptions reflected in the report, shifted focus and said: “ÉDo we need that as a pillar? Supervised consumption? Yes we doÉ”

Which is not the picture the Review Committee presented when it released the report.

“It was the committee’s impression that he Lethbridge SCS may be facing the most problems in the province since the expressed concerns were disproportionately higher than other jurisdictions.”

Not the committee’s fault, I suppose, their terms of reference specifically precluded consideration of anything other than public perception and reaction and there was a concerted and organized opposition to the very existence of the site boiling up in the city around the time the committee came through town.

The problem is, the UCP government stacked the deck to get the results they wanted and now there’s a terrible chance that Lethbridge is going to have to live with those results.

Think about that if they close down the site and dead people start showing up in the alleys and the schoolyards. We came close to that a couple years ago and that’s where we very well could wind up if this goes sideways.

Listen to the co-chair of the committee when he speaks of the positive effects of the SCS. Not the perception É the effects!

“The challenge is getting more people using the sitesÉ”

That’s the message the provincial government should be listening to.

Ken Sears

Lethbridge

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Seth Anthony

In the following rebuttal, the author’s statements are surrounded by the dashed lines, to which my reply follows:

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When people are using the site itself, they’re being supervised, they’re tended to, their street wounds are being looked after.
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That is all true. Except, most that attend the site only go in to get drug paraphernalia, then leave to shoot up right outside of the scs, in the entry ways of the business’s around the scs, in the parks, the library, the playgrounds, etc.

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The rise of debris is a consequence of people not using the supervised consumption sites.”|
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This would be true if the needles were kept on site. According to published articles, ARCHES was distributing 4,000 needles a month before they opened the SCS. Once they opened the SCS, they started distributing “over 30,000” a month at the SCS. The latest number is 13,000 to 15,000 a month. ARCHES also supplies needles to the shelter and the pharmacies, however, I don’t know if the numbers include those needles (I suspect not, as the verbiage associated with those numbers is typically “distributed from the SCS”. Regardless, bio hazard debris is not the result of what the author states. It’s simply the result of a massive increase in needle distribution.

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Their terms of reference specifically precluded consideration of anything other than public perception
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This is false, as the full report is filled with facts and numbers. So much so, that it can often be tedious and boring to read lol. Furthermore, public perception IS public experience. Public experience is very important. I can’t imagine why the author would seemingly dismiss it as unimportant.

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Think about that if they close down the site and dead people start showing up in the alleys and the schoolyards
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I don’t recall much of that before the scs. I’ve heard more of that after the scs opened. In fact, there were 4 of those just last weekend. It’s because addicts dying in the streets have nothing to do with whether or not an scs exists. The addicts that are now “dying in the streets” are dying due to tainted drugs and their refusal to use the scs (where they stand a small chance of a successful revival). In other words, those addicts would have died even if we had 10 scs’s.

In conclusion, (and no, I don’t support the UCP, the NDP, or the Liberals), the UCP’s position is that the previous government focused too much on SCS’s, and not enough on addiction treatment.

In particular regards to the Lethbridge SCS, the main complaint is not so much that it exists, but rather how it is being run, and where it is located. Most want it around the shelter, away from businesses.

Dennis Bremner

The author forgets the nifty piece of misdirection that ALL of the 172 employees have participated in!

1) they are handing out 200-500 needles at a time according to the report.

Those needles go to the drug houses of which we have over 90 (Spearman quote)

2) No one has ever died in the SCS

Atypical con job proliferated by the Queen of the SCS and ALL her employees. An addict dies or heart stops in the SCS. SCS calls and Ambulance, they arrive, start giving CPR, drive to emergency. Emergency says “this guy is dead, time of death (Now)” because ONLY a doctor can pronounce someone dead.
SCS continues to say No deaths because were good, No, no deaths because you ship them off to the Emergency where they are pronounced.

3) In the last 2 Quarters 136 people have visited the SCS, which is 555 visits per day

So each addict visits the SCS 4 times a day. So 136 people are being served by 176 employees??
Of those 555 visits how many of those are to chat or pick up 200 to 500 needles?

4) One person consumed 40 Naloxone Kits

Are you people just being too foolish to understand whats going on here?

5) We administered Oxygen

ANOTHER LIFE SAVED

6) There are 1500 Addicts in Lethbridge according to the Queen of SCS
Where are the other 1364 Queenie?

Hyggens decides he wants the SCS open, good luck hope he can find a job next year

10 People should run for town council on the ticket of SHUTTING THE SCS down
2 should run for Mayor on the ticket of SHUTTING THE SCS down

My bet, you win by a landslide

Montreal13

Dennis, I mentioned something like your #2 point on a previous thread. You say it better and it can not be repeated enough. Thank you. Many people buy the first “answer” from the authorities. A number of others will go further and ask the first “dumb” question and then just buy the ” answer”. Very few people will go the extra mile to ask the second “dumb” question,because they really don’t want to know more or can’t deal with the reality on the ground. If it is different than the “authorities know best” ,it doesn’t feel good ,it creates uncertainty .
Because the SCS doesnot suit the lifestyle /biology of the addict,it will never work. I’m sure there is much better comparisons,but it is like asking a gogher to go to night school. Addicts like to shoot up, visit/party ,eat ,have sex and crash all in one location, with their mates. It is no different than the opium dens that have operated for the last couple hundred years. Instead for example: At 4 to 6 in the morning let’s go out on the street to find drugs,then let’s walk to the SCS to shoot up,then lets struggle to get back to a crash house or get an Arches staff member to drive us to a collective crash center. Recently a drug house was shut down,there were 23 addicts shooting up ,visiting/living ,crashing there and over filled with used needles. The SCS staff cannot allow their clients to crash/sleep on site. They may die in their sleep and on site. It’s like when you go to give blood,they don’;t want you to close your eyes and rest. It is not safe.
Sorry ,Mr. Sears ,the settler/ colonialist mindset has tired to impose their solutions on various and many different cultures from their own over thousands of years. Study history for the successes you will find there. See the same mistakes still being made. And this is from people with many levels of “continuing education”,my God.

Seth Anthony

Ah yes, I completely forgot about point #2.

Dennis Bremner

We are following the atypical schedule as I have laid out in previous posts here and FB. SCS sets up, carry of illegal drugs relaxed. Safe zone which was supposed to be inside the SCS becomes the surrounding area. Dealers deal one on one in the immediate area. They become intricately involved with each addict literally to a first name basis. The dealer then sets up a drug house and pulls the addict away from the SCS. Numbers of visits and numbers of addicts begin to fall as more and more drug houses are set up all over the city and lawlessness flourishes.
Addicts that attend the SCS are either new to the city, are outcasts from the drug houses or are visiting to get 200-500 needles to take back to the Drug houses.
The addicts then trust their dealers and no longer use the SCS. Then an episode occurs like this week where some addicts die from bad drugs. This causes a short term spike in addicts back to the SCS.
SCS of course capitalizes on this tragedy by saying if they came to the SCS they would be safer. Yet the population of Lethbridge cannot believe a word they say because its already been determined that they cannot declare a person dead inside the SCS because they do not have a Doctor or a Qualified Doctor to declare “time of death”.

So SCSs appear to be 100% successful just as they are reporting. A Report that they know is a 100% total line of bull to keep sucking in Lethbridge that they truly make a difference. The problem of course is now no one trusts any of the numbers out of the SCS because its now known that ALL employees went along with this charade. So there was never any intent to provide Lethbridge with real numbers. In fact Lethbridge has been under the same impression all other SCSs provide, which is since their existence they have saved EVERYONE!

To prove the point SCS provided numbers of addicts that died before they arrived, then provided their “100% success rate” ! Lethbridge was then led to believe ALL the addicts that died, died because they never went to the “Saviours of SCS”! The reality is, some/many/all may/could have actually died IN THE SCS or on its property! So it gets to play this game of its NEVER the SCS ! They might as well post that number for the next 30 years now, because it will always be 100%! They say the addicts are not safe unless they attend SCS, but if they do attend, and die at the SCS, they still did not die “technically at SCS” so there record of saving all lives is intact!! Its a great CON JOB and the strange thing, silently, 172 employees played the same game? They knew what was going on, and said NOTHING to the residents of Lethbridge!

Meanwhile the dealers prosper, as the addicts grow in population, and the destruction to Lethbridge continues because now the Drug Dealers have names, Drug Dealers have Drug Houses and they have “Go Fors” to get them 200-500 needles from the SCS Supply Depot, whenever they need them free of charge, they have now a supply chain of addicts, drugs and needles, its quite the thriving business!

Thank you Queen of SCS, NDP, and Council/Mayor you have completed the job needed for every Drug Dealer in Lethbridge to prosper under your tenure , oh, and it gets worse this summer by a much larger magnitude!

Who are the suckers here? Residents, and the Police who get to try to clean this mess up, while the judicial system plays catch and release, over and over again!