May 25th, 2024

Data doesn’t support deaths linked to SCS closure

By Letter to the Editor on November 18, 2020.

We recently had letters indicating that addict deaths went ballistic in the South Zone and the writers connected the closing of the SCS and those deaths; these writers knew that was not the case.
So let’s look at the data. We had 36 people die of an unintentional overdose during Q1 and Q2 in the South Zone. The South Zone includes Medicine Hat to Pincher Creek and everything between, down to the border and up to and including some imaginary line toward Calgary.
Now, the LOPS and SCS supporters need you to believe that the 36 died “here in Lethbridge” and they need you to believe the 36 died because the SCS was closed! Two problems with that story: those deaths occurred in Q1 and Q2 of 2020 in the “entire South Zone,” and the SCS did not close until the end of Q3 2020. So the 36 died while the SCS was open! Say what?
SCS supporters use deaths and “saving lives” to justify the need for an SCS. The interesting thing? Lethbridge will be the first that has closed its SCS, after having it run for 2.5 years. So the data of having a running SCS in place can now be evaluated against data with no SCS in the same city! Let me say now, this data is “globally important” and may finally prove, as some of us believe, that SCSs are the enablers, they are the place for experimentation and ever-increasing concoctions, and they are a source of the problem and have never proven they are part of the solution!
Contrary to what you will hear in response to this article, there is no data of SCS to no SCS. One life lost justifies an SCS, right? We will soon see if the same statistical life is lost whether the SCS is open or not; after all, they are injecting poison, so lives will be lost. Should we use the 36 lives lost and SCS open as the baseline?
Now that the data has been exposed and can no longer be used by the few U of L profs and local doctors who support SCSs/LOPS, they will have to rework their stories. It really sucks when data does not support a cause, or religion, or political allegiance! Making it sound like it does is nothing more than a perpetrated fraud on the residents of Lethbridge!
Dennis Bremner

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Thanks Dennis … great points . . . how many died after they left the SCS, higher than kites? One right in the parking lot!
There was more Naloxone administered with a 2 block radius of the SCS than inside . . . wonder why?
The link above has some good information that show a decrease in EMS overdose calls after the SCS closed.
” . . .in September, after the closure of ARCHES, the City of Lethbridge has experienced a 36 per cent decrease in opioid-related EMS responses and a modest decrease in drug and alcohol overdose deaths thus far,” the statement said. . . ”
It also has this comment from an expert:
“….Addictions expert Dr. Carson McPherson says the news doesn’t come as a surprise.
McPherson is part of the National Policy Committee for the Canadian
Society of Addiction Medicine, and cites moral hazard as a potential
explanation for the drop in overdose calls since the SCS in Lethbridge shut
Moral hazard is originally an economic term, and in the context of drug users
means that a user might have an incentive to increase their exposure to risk
— in this case, drug use — knowing that they will not bear the full
consequences of that risk.
“Ultimately, it can be very hard to find and navigate through recovery
pathways when there is such services — albeit with good intentions — but
are really perpetuating the disease of addiction itself by the very design of
what’s taking place,” he said….”
These sites take away the incentive to seek help. Add all the social services put in place : 3 meals per day at soup kitchen, food banks, free clothes, shelter and why would you want to get help? You can blow your whole check on drugs!
Just like Vancouver DTES, we promote addiction instead of treat it!!

Seth Anthony

The misleading information, the lies, and the lies by omission from the ARCHES/SCS crowd is rampant. There are many examples of these charlatan like practices, and one of the most recent can be found in the Go Fund Me Page for the LOPS tent:

The LOPS pop up tent Go Fund Me Page states, “…the Alberta government’s irresponsible decision to close the Lethbridge Supervised Consumption Site”.

It’s telling that in their request for money, there is no mention of why it was “closed”, nor any mention of the new scs run by Alberta Health Services. Furthermore, the term “closed” is inaccurate. Theoretically and legally, arches could still have run an scs on donations and volunteering.

The complaints against the scs were vast and ongoing. However, most of the complaints were not so much about the concept of scs’s, but rather how it was being run by arches. I’ve yet to see even one complaint about the new scs run by AHS.

In regards to the addicts themselves, read any testimonial from a recovered addict and you’ll find that every one quit due to “hitting their rock bottom”. More simply and blunt, it was no longer “fun” to do drugs. The negative consequences began to outweigh the perceived positives of doing drugs.

When every addict’s whim and desire is met, and they have no consequences or responsibility for their actions, then there is no desire to quit. The recovery rate with this scenario is effectively zero. Unfortunately, that scenario was the NDP’s approach. The UCP got it right with new beds, detox, treatment centres, and especially a new Lethbridge drug court in which the addict that continuously harms others, is court ordered to enter rehab.

NOTE: I don’t support the NDP, the UCP, or the Liberals. I generally despise each equally.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony

Bravo Seth . . . One comment- True that hitting rock bottom is the defining point, if they make it that far before dying. But, how can you hit rock bottom when you have 3 very good meals per day free at the soup kitchen, as well as groups running around downtown handing out drinks and sandwiches, a food bank, all the free clothing they need, a 24/7 shelter that is not full but has room for them, all the supports . . . so you can blow you checks all on drugs!
They get used to that lifestyle and adapt to it the same as criminals get institutionalized and don’t mind being incarcerated.
We just increase the people on the streets by providing all the services, so there is no incentive.
Now, the Mustard Seed from Calgary wants to move into downtown and open a shelter downtown . . . We do not need another shelter, what we need is effective treatment to get the homeless/addicts off the streets and the ones that are hopeless to rehabilitate into jails and keep them there!
We are putting in place all the programs that come at a high cost to support addicts, instead of putting that money into effective treatment programs . . . to be clear, the 90 day programs have a high rate of failure and should be dropped. The 12-18 month programs similar to the programs used in the southern US have recidivism rates of 16-22%. That means they are 78-84 % successful. No other programs right now are that effective so stop burning up the money in useless cycles that impact the communities and cost more in the long run!!!


Good points Dennis. Fight on! Capud, vandu, ops, msth and partners have been pushing their side with rallies, liberal judges, government-funded speaking engagements and university education courses for years. SCS’s are a part of the so-called Harm Reduction strategy that has been pushed by governments, media and progessives as a cheaper alternate to traditional 4-pillar addiction recovery (prevent, detox, rehab, enforce). But it harms communities, invalidates drug users and destroys citizen morale. Recovery stats are only a bit worse I guess. About 0% for SCS vs 1-2% for the comprehensive 4-pillar process. But 1-2% is still thousands of human lives over time! SCS are simply not supportable if your aim is to help people.


Great summary Dennis.
I believe that, with the inception of SCS, there was a real demonstration of clear intent NOT to reduce the number of addicts in Alberta … in fact it encouraged addicts from outside of our province to abuse their drugs here.
It would seem that the people in control of Lethbridge’s SCS were more interested in what they could get out of it than in ‘helping’ their ‘clients’.
Addiction, of any kind, is a sad thing but it is here to stay and SCS will only encourage drug use. At an SCS they have Naloxone, therefore it’s unlikely that the addict will die from an overdose whilst there, and there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that addicts push the envelope knowing that, if they go too far, they can recover due to Naloxone.


Be jubilant: It must be very satisfying to triumph over society’s most vulnerable.
Enforce – condemn – bury. And then complain about the costs of interment.
Truly monstrous.


is this not darwins principle, stupidity leads to death.
1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

Last edited 3 years ago by phlushie
Seth Anthony

“most vulnerable” lol

Addicts knowingly and willfully do their drugs, and typically victimize others to get their next fix. You call that vulnerable? I don’t think you know what the word means. I’ll give you a hint with two examples: 1) Children, 2) Seniors.

Furthermore, there’s only 2 types of people that call addicts the most vulnerable:

1) Those that virtue signal and/or make money off of addicts.

2) Those that can’t defend their position so they resort to the logical fallacy of trying to “appeal to emotion” with the “most vulnerable nonsense”. Both are equally pathetic, as is the rest of your post.

Got anything to add to the conversation that doesn’t have bizarre assumptions, bizarre accusations, or logical fallacies?

BTW- Hello again Fescue!

big hug.jpg
Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony

Thanks for the hug, Seth.

We should be careful not to dehumanize a group. History suggests this leads to regrettable behaviours.

“All the gold which is on our under the earth is not enoght to give in exchange for virtue.” Plato

Last edited 3 years ago by Fescue
Seth Anthony

You’re welcome. I figured you would appreciate it.

There is no “group dehumanizing” to which you speak of. There is however, an abundance of rational and compassionate suggestions / observations. Why are you seeing such a deep negativie in something so positive?