Episode 20 - Kris Nyrop: LEADing the Way (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion)

SHOW NOTES

Kris Nyrop from Seattle, USA is the Director of Harm Reduction Practices and plays a key role in the L.E.A.D project. LEAD is a hugely successful  “Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion” program. LEAD has an innovative approach to Harm Reduction and the results are staggering. They have gathered all community resources and a Case Management Team to provide an alternative to Addiction and its criminal activities. In October of 2011, Seattle launched LEAD as a pilot project and soon neighbourhoods were demanding it to be in their communities as well.This program has had huge success in reducing crime rates, reducing health care costs, and ultimately reducing the number of people actively addicted in the USA.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Kris explains what LEAD is and its origins. Police were arresting the same people over and over again, many of whom were addicted. Police collaborated with community resources and created a diversion program for the repeat offender. The offender is given a 2nd option instead of jail. They can be diverted to a case management team that will do everything in their power to help the individual head towards a healthier, legal way of life.

- Kris and Matt talk about the fact that despite everyone collaborating were coming from different backgrounds, they could all agree that the current take on “war on drugs” simply wasn’t working.

- Kris explains how police could remove the barrier of another charge or arrest by offering the 2nd option of case management. If the 2nd option is requested then a case manager would physically show up to do immediate triage. They find out who the individual is, where they are staying, and what their needs are for future contact.

- They find out what the immediate need is of the individual, and in further meetings will develop a trusting relationship, which can take months for the deeper issues/needs to surface.

- Kris emphasizes on how this relationship takes time and involves many small steps. This program is Harm Reduction on a long term basis with barriers such as NOT having to be abstinent from substance abuse removed.

- After awhile the front line police officers began asking, “DO we need to ARREST people to get them into this program?”  Now police can make a referral to case management, which removes the barriers of repeat arrests. The Police and Case Managers meet twice a month so they can exchange info and review possible future LEAD individuals.    

- Kris recalls an example of success and how these success stories help continued funding. Approx. 60% of clients who utilized LEAD sought treatment or changed from illegal to legal substances.

- Kris and Matt briefly discuss costs related to the program and the difficulty in translating US healthcare system and dollars compared to Canadian systems. The average cost of an individual using the LEAD program was approx. $2,700 per year including dental or private treatment costs.

- They discuss the cost of  repeated 911 emergency calls, ambulance and expensive health costs and how this program alleviates those costs.

- Kris says that it is much cheaper to use the LEAD alternative than the current criminal justice system.

QUOTES

“LEAD people are 58% LESS likely to repeat a criminal offence, (after using our program).”

“Even before we had any evaluation results at all, residents in adjoining neighbourhoods went to the Mayor and asked why they didn’t have LEAD in their communities as well.. Neighbours demanded to have it.”

“We all came from different backgrounds; the one thing we could agree on was that what we were doing - wasn’t working.” followed by “Then WHY wouldn’t we do something Different?!”

“Nothing is off the table when it comes to a personal advocate. We do as much as we possibly can for them.”

“56% of them had no ID, a Case Manager can definitely help with that; and having ID, makes a huge difference.”

“It takes time. We are working on a long term basis in small incremental steps.”

LINKS

LEAD Homepage: www.leadbureau.org

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg


Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com


Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 19 - Bruce Alexander: The Rat Park Guy

SHOW NOTES

Dr. Bruce Alexander is a highly regarded psychologist and retired professor who has years of knowledge in the area of addiction. He offers ideas of how to solve the  drug crisis that so many are facing today.

Dr. Alexander had moved to Vancouver in 1970 and at that time it was in the midst of the Heroin Crisis where he met "real live junkies". He shares his findings with the Rat Park experiments: taking drug addicted rats in solitude, compared to free rats in a thriving rat park. He talks about the invisible isolation people can have and how fear can take away our critical thinking capacity.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Bruce and Matt have a fascinating discussion of the disappearance of the Rat Park Experiments. Drug Addicted Solitary Confined rats vs free Rat Park rats and how that can or can’t relate to people. He shares his knowledge of rat babysitting, and how rats actually build their own culture and social life! 

- Bruce and Matt discuss the importance of  a persons identity,  even if it's a somewhat proud "junkie".  They talk about youth being raised by peers instead of parents and how that relates in gangs. 

- Bruce talks about the 1970 disease theory of addiction based on withdrawal symptoms and being an "irresistible drug." 

- They chat about how Doctors and Police now have the discretion in how to deal with addicted individuals. Police can decide to charge or not and doctors can decide to prescribe or not. 

- They agree that the narrative is changing, and although there are solutions that may work, people may not be ready to hear those solutions just yet.

- How terror can cripple critical or wise thinking.

QUOTES

"Everybody has to be Somebody."

"BE A BAD ASS!" 

" We are in the midst of a Paradigm Shift."

"People who use drugs, to the degree that they hurt themselves, have a Need, and drugs fulfill that need. We’ve got to do something about where that need comes from."

" The rat park makes the Isolation visible, but human cages are sometimes Invisible."

" Harm Reduction is Vital."

" In the 19th Century you could buy opioids in the store, called Mrs.Winslows Soothing Syrup. My prediction is we will go back to that. We can't even talk about it yet, because of the panic. It takes away our critical thinking capacity.”

LINKS

Bruce Alexander Homepage: http://www.brucekalexander.com/


Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg


Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Episode 18 - Mental Health Panel Discussion - U of S, #bellletstalk

SHOW NOTES

On January 30, 2019, Matt was asked to host a panel discussion at the U of S as part of their Bell Let’s Talk day. The panel was comprised of a wide range of experiences and expertise. Becca Beattie, a community advocate with enough street cred to earn a doctorate in the field of mental health and addictions, shared parts of her life and her current advocacy project of bringing Saskatoon their first safe consumption site. Murray Drew, a professor of Animal and Poultry Science at University of Saskatchewan shared his experience of being an adult with bi-polar and ADHD, highlighting that you can be happy and successful while living with a mental health disorder. Jerin Islam a third year psychology student and member of the Bangledesh Undergrad Student Federation shared her experience as an advocate, trying to reduce the stigma of mental health within the international students communities. Kyle Schwartz is a clinical Social Worker who provided valuable information in suicide prevention and intervention. He has a passion for breaking through the stigma and the role toxic masculinity is playing. Allan Kehler is a motivational speaker with lived experience and a mental health and wellness teacher at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. He shared some tools that he has learned in his travels to help with his own mental health struggles.

This panel was the perfect way to celebrate #bellletstalk. We were honoured to be a part of the day and for our first “live podcast” recording, it turned out great!

LINKS

Harm Reduction Now SK Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/372005193547015/

Allan Kehler - Out From the Shadows: https://www.outfromtheshadows.ca/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 17 - Joe Beliveau: Survivor, Advocate, Comedian

SHOW NOTES

Joe tells Matt his life story. Unlike the usual route of addiction, Joe didn’t start experimenting with drugs until he was in his late 30’s. Joe started using cocaine while partying in clubs. It took four years for him to lose everything that he had worked for. In this episode Joe discloses childhood sexual abuse and struggling with his sexual identity as playing factors in his addiction.

Once Joe was able to recover from the addiction to crystal meth that he had developed, he dedicated his life to helping others. Joe joined the Alberta Addicts Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly (AAWEAR). AAWEAR is an incredible peer lead group of street outreach workers who volunteer their time to help keep drug users safe on the streets of Calgary.

LINKS

Alberta Addicts who Advocate and Educate Responsibly: www.aawear.org


Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg


Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com


Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 16 - The harm reduction renegade, Ann Livingston

SHOW NOTES:

Ann lives in Vancouver, about 2 blocks from Hastings and Main. She is the CoFounder of VANDU a non-profit organization that tackles Harm Reduction. She spent some time in University in her early years and is now also a devoted mother of an adult child living with a disability. She has attended thousands of AA meetings, and has powerful insight and wisdom on so many facets of addiction.

HIGHLIGHTS :

- Ann details Vandu, that has been around of 21 years and how she became involved in the drug war. Almost everyday Vandu hosts Drug User Support Groups. She explains that drug users are the experts of their own lives.

- Ann explains the theory of punishing or degrading drug users and that it has no benefit.  On the opposite side, the more that drug users see a hope for the future, the more successful they are to stop using substances.

- She talks about the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Group that meets on Fridays at Vandu as well as the Salome and Naomi programs where prescription heroin is provided.

- She discusses BC Pivot Legal Society and shares how people on Methadone won a class action lawsuit with a $5.5 million settlement. The settlement was for people who had fees for private clinics or funds removed from welfare.

- Ann and Matt discuss the Vancouver Injection Study done in the United States for 22 yrs.

- She shares about trying to teach citizenship and observing how users shift their "using obsession" when they have something else to focus on.

- She identifies 3 areas within Addiction: Income,  Housing, and Social Networking. Vandu has been in the area of social networking.

- Ann and Matt talk about the Prescription Heroin Program , what works and what doesn't.

- Ann and Matt talk policing,  warrants, and mental health/ addictions. The lack of release planning and the predictability and of the sad outcome for drug users.

- Ann identifies areas that would be helpful in Harm Reduction.  She touches on Financial Analysis, Stimulant replacement therapy,  and understanding the commonality of Addiction.

QUOTES:

" People with no future use drugs recklessly, and that's what's causing the deaths. "

" If they don't have somewhere to land,  how can we ever expect someone to stop using drugs?!"

"People who score are the hardest working people. "

"You can't keep feeding people defeat and expect them to even stay alive. "

"The better drug users’ lives become,  and the more they can see a future for themselves,; the more courage they have to stop using."

"People thought being punitive towards those who used,  would smarten them up, help them bottom out and they'd stop.  That theory is exactly wrong."

" We have a simple goal, that is, to reduce the death and disease associated with using drugs."

LINKS:

VANDU Website: https://www.vandu.org/

The Study to Assess Long-term Opioid Maintenance Effectiveness (SALOME): http://www.providencehealthcare.org/salome/index.html

North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI): http://www.providencehealthcare.org/salome/naomi-study.html

Official Say Know homepage: http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com




Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 15 - Garth Mullins and the -40° Model

SHOW NOTES:

Garth Mullins is an activist and freelancer from Vancouver. He was a former injection heroin user. He has seen far too many people lose their lives to overdose, and delivers a clear message about Safe Drug Supply being a much more concrete solution than the current harm reduction practices of safe injection sites. He lived through two drug crisis; one in the 90s when China White Heroin was prevalent; plus the current Opioid crisis that North America is facing today.

He is currently preparing to launch “Crack Down”, a podcast that aims to bring science and lived experience together, this coming January.

In this episode Garth and Matt navigate some tough topics like Policing, Crackdowns and Decriminalization, Possession Arrests, Harm Reduction Triage, Safe Injection Sites vs the Community, and the brilliant -40° Model.

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Garth discusses the drug crisis in the 90’s when China White Heroin was prevalent in Vancouver and the high rate of HIV. It was difficult to get clean needles back then, where you had to turn in a dirty needle to get a clean one.

- He talks about the contradictions between crack downs and decriminalization.

- Garth states that safe injection sites wouldn’t be needed if a safe supply of clean drugs were given out.

- They brainstorm ideas how to change the stigmas around people struggling with addiction.

- Garth and Matt discuss implementing decriminalization, police stats and possession arrests.

- How harm reduction can sometimes create more barriers to break down.

- They talk about problems and solutions on how to engage with the community in regards to neighbourhood drug houses/use.

- Garth has a brilliant idea about creating a job opportunity to keep drug houses safe; hiring someone to monitor inside a using house with Naloxone and equipment to ensure safety.

QUOTES:

“We wouldn’t need a safe injection site if we gave out safe drugs.”

“Decriminalization without a safe supply, is not the whole solution.”

“Let’s Not arrest drug dealers. Arrests create lots of harm, and I don’t know if they do any good.”

“The stigma of a drug user is powerful and the way to deal with that stigma is to convince police to stand down and stop arresting for drug possession. This is how society decides what is stigmatized; by what is legal and what is not.”

“If you don’t put drug users in jail, then you’re not gonna have drugs in jail.”

“We still have policies made by people who don’t understand.”

“The best way to address organized crime; to deal with the Al Capones, was to legalize booze.”

“Drug users have been using safe injections sites for a long time; they just haven’t been official.”

LINKS:

Garth Mullins Twitter: https://twitter.com/garthmullins

Official Say Know homepage: http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com


Matt IngrouilleComment
Bonus Episode - A Change in Law Enforcement Perspective

Cst. Matt Ingrouille was asked to present at the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse’ AGM. The interactive slide presentation is below:

LINKS

Official Say Know homepage: http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

CORRECTIONS

Due to this being the first time giving this particular presentation, I mispoke in a few places. It could have been nerves, excitement or stupidity. I’ll let you decide!Here are some corrections:

I said that the illicit drug trade is second to oil and gas with its value of 400 to 700 billion and some estimates put it higher. I compared it to the global oil and gas industry but misrepresented its size. The comparison was supposed to be the global drug trade to North America’s oil and gas industry. The US generates 136 billion a year (statista.com), while Canada generates 170 billion a year (energy-exchange.net) with assets of over 500 billion dollars. Globally the oil and gas industry is worth 1.7 trillion (oilprice.com)... therefore the illicit drug market is huge but not near the top. For interest sake, food and agriculture is the worlds largest economy (Forbes.com).

I mentioned that at the end of every podcast I ask each guest if “crime” is a criminal justice issue or health care issue. However I meant to say “addiction”. You were probably smart enough to figure that one out...

I brought up project Forsetti to highlight am example of an organized crime investigation and how expensive and complex they can be. Therefore, very few are actually done, nation wide. I mentioned that I was a part of the project. However, I meant to say my service was a part of the project. I was out of the organized crime unit when the file officially got going but played a small role in gathering the initial evidence required to get the project approved. 

I apologize for these mistakes. Live presentations can be a dynamic environment where your mouth can move faster than the brain at times! Thanks for reading! Be sure to SUBSCRIBE! - Matt

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 13 - AIDS Saskatoon

SHOW NOTES:

Jason Mercredi is the Executive Director for AIDS Saskatoon. He has gained extensive knowledge from the front line and an advocate for Harm Reduction. He urges for a safe injection site in Saskatoon, as well as safe smoking supplies.

For over a decade, Saskatchewan has had the highest HIV rates; mainly from intravenous drug use. AIDS Saskatoon is an outreach center with support workers. It provides a safe place for people with HIV or Hepatitis C to receive testing and support in a welcoming environment. AIDS Saskatoon has been operating a needle exchange program for 10 years, with over 100,000 clean needles given out a year.

Jason truly values the importance of the relationships with his clients and meeting them where they are at.

In this episode Jason and Matt speak at length about AIDS Saskatoon and what attitudes and supports they provide. They cover topics around stigma, prevention, HIV rapid testing, the “Wrap it Up” Indigenous condom initiative, and the cost  effectiveness of Harm Reduction.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Jason gives details about the HIV centre in Saskatoon, what they provide and their beliefs, such as the importance of building trusting relationships with the clients. He talks about the importance of not giving up on clients if they act out, as well as the benefits of hiring peers. The centre offers a safe, welcoming place without judgment;  clients can come eat, or have a coffee. They can also get info about using drugs safely and can get testing for HIV or Hep C when the client is ready.

-AIDS Saskatoon has 350-400 clients that are HIV+ but also clients that have Hepatitis C. HIV rates are 3 x’s the National average in Saskatchewan. Contrary to popular belief, the gay community is the least of the HIV rate. Highest risk is injection use, next is from Heterosexual sex.

- Jason speaks about AIDS Saskatoon working towards deregulation of HIV rapid testing, and how it would eliminate barriers. Similar to a diabetic test, a blood sample would reveal the  results in less than a minute.

-Jason discusses National HIV testing day, and partnering with Canadian AIDS society, and success of National testing day.

-Jason talks about partnering with Saskatoon Sexual Health, developing ‘’Wrap it Up’’, providing 100,000 condoms in Cree, Dené for the  for the Northern Indigenous population.

-Jason says that they want to see safe injections sites in Saskatoon, the benefits of safe consumptions sites and access to safe pipes.

-Jason and Matt talk about Harm reduction, what works and what doesn't. Forcing people into treatment may seem like the right choice but it is actually counter productive, and may cause more harm.

-Jason and Matt talk about the struggles of explaining to the community that financially investing a small amount into harm reduction can have a huge impact, and overall save more money in the long run.

-Jason explains why it's cheaper to give a person a Naloxone kit and how it actually saves countless dollars long term. A Naloxone kit costs $40, which is a fairly small price - compared to thousands of dollars spent on ambulance, hospital and funeral costs.

-Saskatchewan became the 2nd province to have Universal HIV and Hepatitis C medication coverage.

-Jason and Matt discuss having conversations with people who disagree with harm reduction in a way that doesn’t create more conflict.

QUOTES:

“We need to save lives, because dead people can’t recover.”

“One prevention of HIV saves you over a million dollars a year.”

“We need to be able to provide an environment that’s welcoming, that’s relationship based, and where people can use in safe way so that we can engage them in care if they want to be.”

“If your goal is to get a behavioral change out of somebody, you’re coming into that relationship with an agenda. That’s not an authentic relationship.”

“We’re not gonna quit on them (the clients), just because they’re having a bad day.’’

“You started talking to them about the dollars that its costing to keep things the way they (currently) are, then you realize their conversation isn't about dollars - it's about morals. They're just masquerading it with dollars”

“If you're a true harm reductionist; why aren’t you meeting that person where they’re at?”

LINKS:

AIDS Saskatoon Website: www.aidssaskatoon.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidsaskatoon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aidssaskatoon

Official Say Know homepage: http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com


Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 12 - Turning the Titanic - Leslie Mcbain of Moms Stop the Harm

Leslie MacBain - Turning the Titanic

SHOW NOTES:

On January 4th, 2014 Leslie McBain lost her son, Jordan, to an overdose; a lethal combination of prescription drugs. As a teenager he had done the typical partying but by age 19 he was addicted to alcohol and cocaine. He attended treatment but relapsed shortly after. He managed to curb his addiction but later a doctor prescribed him Oxycontin for a back injury. Sadly, the beginning of the end. When he told his Dr he was addicted and needed help; he was simply cut off his prescription, and left to find it elsewhere.

Leslie is a co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH) -  an organization of moms who have lost their children to the disease of addiction. They have banded together for strength; to advocate for compassionate policy changes in the face of an epidemic that continues to take away lives.They strive to decriminalize the possession of drugs and want the federal government to create a safe, regulated supply of opioids in order to save thousands of preventable deaths.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-  The cancelled patent for Oxycontin opened up the black market to replace the drug with knockoffs, and that is why we are seeing all the deaths today.

- Leslie identifies three major themes within the overdose communities - people were using substances alone, kids only experimenting (not actively addicted) got the poisoned drugs, and that the parents had tried everything they could to save their child.

- Leslie and Matt talk about the difficulties in journey to recovery such as: trying to find a good treatment facility, finding a good doctor who is educated in the disease of addiction and can prescribe the correct medications.

- Leslie shares great insight about what is needed to change to help people with addiction. Having detox, support,medically assisted treatment after detox, ongoing counselling and support services.

- Leslie and Matt talk about the importance of talking with the youth today about drugs - to be real and not give false info or scare tactics. Things like saying “Don’t do this” has the opposite effect.

- Leslie discusses B.C Centre of Substance Use (BCCSU) Initiative that focus’ on: Family Engagement, Peer Support Groups and a Recovery Pod (led by Marshall Smith).

- She talks about “The Gone too Soon” and “The Coping Kit” Handbooks available through BCCSU.

-  “Stronger Together”  a grant funded initiative for community support meetings in BC

- Leslie shares advice for parents struggling with a child in Addiction. She explains that amidst tough challenges of behavior, and approach of “tough love” or “rock bottoms” don’t work, in fact it’s counter productive.

- Leslie describes goals and visions that MSTH is taking on:

Grief Support, Sibling Support, and online Private Support groups.

- They are advocating for the decriminalization of people who possess drugs as well as asking the federal government to create a safe regulated supply of opioids.

QUOTES:

“If we had a safe, regulated supply of opioids for people who are addicted; then the black market would largely disappear. People wouldn’t be dying like they are now.”

“Support groups and sharing stories is one of the most powerful healing tools there is.”

“Family is anyone who loves you, cares for you and supports you.”

“There is nothing else in the history of this country that has killed so many people - that has not been attended to properly.”

“How many people have to die before the government will do the right thing?”

“The government isn’t willing to fund proper treatment services.”

“Organizations need to come together and it’s like slowly turning the Titanic around.

 People are dying; falling off the ship all the time.”


LINKS:

Mom Stop the Harm Website: www.momstoptheharm.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MomsStopTheHarm/

British Columbia Centre on Substance Use: http://www.bccsu.ca/

“Gone Too Soon” Handbook: http://www.bccsu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Grief_Handbook.pdf

Official Say Know homepage: http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 11 - Darcey Loitz - He found hope and now wants to help others

SHOW NOTES:

Darcey Loitz is passionate about helping other people struggling with addiction and is actively seeking to be a mental health and addictions worker. He shares with us his lived experience and insight on the underlying causes of addiction. He believes that addiction is rooted in childhood trauma and self medication of emotional pain. By the age of 11 he was consuming alcohol and using LSD  by Grade 6. He shares about being sexually abused by a man when he was 15 years old, and found the courage to share this only a year ago.


In this episode Darcey discusses a wide variety of topics. He talks of childhood traumas and how he began to self medicate at a very young age. He discusses the significant role of his mother in his life. He speaks of his love for her, despite her suicide attempts, her struggle with alcoholism and an ongoing stressful cancer diagnosis. He talks of loss, fear and isolation, and the importance of reaching out. He discusses how important it was for him being a father and the loss of identity when his kids grew up and moved out. He also talks about his relationships with women, and the subject of rejection and being alone. His addiction slowly spiralled to eventually injecting Crystal Meth. A discovery at work ultimately leads him to getting help for his addiction and Darcey is now clean.


HIGHLIGHTS:

- He grew up moving frequently, both of his parents struggled with alcoholism. He struggled to have stability or have friends because of moving all the time. He felt abandoned by his mom who was not home much when he was a kid.

- He shares his youngest traumatic memory; having almost died at age 3 due to a bunk bed accident

- In Grade 5 his mother had attempted suicide by shooting herself in the chest. She survived but it had traumatic lasting effects on him.

- Darcey began consuming alcohol and LSD at a very young age.

- Darcey talks about being sexually abused by a man when he was 15.

- Darcey recalls how important being a Dad was. His kids were his life and how difficult it was when they were all grown and moved out (Empty Nest Syndrome) and loss of identity.

- The straw that broke the camel's back...When His girlfriend walked out after he had already lost everything, his mom had passed away, his kids were grown and moved out, and then his girlfriend left him, and was he felt utterly alone.

- He talks about Depression and PTSD. He was suicidal and felt he had nothing left to live for. He knew he needed help but feared that he would lose his job and everything that he had worked all his life for like his house, etc.  

- Darcey discusses how losing his keys at work, essentially ended up saving his life and he was able to get the help he needed.

- How supportive his workplace was in helping him with attending treatment at the Northern Addictions Centre in Alberta.

QUOTES:

" We feel so alone in our addiction, even though we’re not; we feel alone in a room full of people..it's a strange feeling.”

“I wanna take the things that helped me and pass that on to others, and let them know that they’re not alone.”

“I felt like I had nothing to live for.”

“He gave me my first shot,  and then I understood how people become addicted to Meth. I never felt anything like that in my life.”

“You lose yourself - You don’t see the wake of destruction with that drug.”

“Nobody at work knew that I was an intravenous user.”

“I spent $80,000 in one year on Meth.”

“I was trying to kill myself and just wanted to have fun doing it.”

“He looked at who I Could be; instead of what I was doing.”

“We are people first; and addicts second.”

LINKS:

The Mask You Live In - Documentary

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

POEMS WRITTEN BY DARCEY LOITZ:

My Truths

Living in fear

Acting strong 

Out of control

Seeming in balance

Feeling alone 

Surrounded by people

Wanting to hide 

Standing out front

Needing to cry

Smiling broad

Longing for love

Feigning  independence

Addiction... 

 It has me lying to myself

and everyone around me

A Choice

Emotions swirling in a dust devil

a plastic bag in an abandoned parking lot

on a cold autumn day

Blown high beyond reach one moment

down in the gutter the next

Seemingly on a whim


Days or weeks go by

the question persists

When will it stop?

Start remembering 

only that which the poison 

seemed to cure

Forgotten the destruction, pain

and suffering  which accompanies

that instant cure all

I must remember the reality

It is not a cure 

but a poison 

that masks my problems 

and creates new ones 

in my time of weakness

the only thing it cures 

is a fleeting moment of displeasure

which will return with vengeance

Life is not easy

Giving up is

Choose life

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 10 - Words of wisdom - Former Chief, Clive Weighill

SHOW NOTES:

Retired Chief of the Saskatoon Police Service, Clive Weighill, sat down to chat with Matt.

Clive has been involved in the justice system for over 40 years, and was the President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police for 11 years of those years. He is currently the Chief Coroner in Saskatchewan and genuinely cares for people he serves.

He has devoted his life to public service and has knowledge, insight and wisdom that makes him a great leader. He has worked hard to make positive changes to the relationship between police and the community.

In this episode, Clive discussed his understanding on a number of topics; from meth and crime, to cannabis legalization and roadside checks, to building trust with Police and communities. He has empathy and wisdom and is one of Canada's most respected leaders.

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Relationship between methamphetamine and crime

- There are many ways to interpret crime stats and police services are revolutionizing the way crimes are reported (Ex: Graffiti)

- More funding is required for social infrastructure

- Cannabis legalization and roadside checks

- The Importance of building trust between Police and communities.

QUOTES:

“ When I grew up I hated the Police. There was no way that I thought I was ever gonna be a Police Officer.”

“ People that are addicted to alcohol – putting them in a jail cell; is not the way to deal with someone who has an addiction.”

“ We need more money spent on social infrastructure.”

“ Police are more aware nowadays that people are are products of their environments.”

“ We can’t arrest our way out of these situations. If we don’t have supports in place for people who go to jail, when they get out they're gonna go right back to the same things. “

“You have to have trust in the community to be successful as a police service. To get trust you have to work with the community.”

“We need people that can feel comfortable talking to the police, listening to what we have to say, understanding our role in the community, which is only one role in the justice system. Trust is really the big factor here. “

LINKS:

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 09 - From fentanyl to recovery - Matt Kaminsky

SHOW NOTES:

Matt Kaminsky is a former fentanyl and oxycontin user. Despite having had a loving childhood, he was nevertheless drawn toward drug usage to self-medicate his personal issues and was shocked to see how his lifestyle and support system suddenly suddenly and drastically changed. Since getting clean, Matt has learned the benefits of having friends who say “no” to him and now ponders how the world could be different if access to recreational drugs was legal and more safely regulated.

In this episode, Matt discusses how drug addiction affects one’s daily routine and needs, the economic effect of the drug trade on housing, and the difference between healthy and toxic support systems.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Matt relates his supportive childhood and how he gradually and insidiously slipped into drug usage and addiction during high school.

-How he never realized that he was using fentanyl until it was too late.

-Noticing how the effects and routine of drug use changed as Matt become more addicted.

-Describing fentanyl’s high-impact effects and why its high is alluring to chase.

-What is “dope sick” and how did it feel for Matt to go through it?

-How Matt has used methadone to taper off his drug use.

-What steps did Matt take to end his using lifestyle and get clean? And exploring why the recovery process can be the most vulnerable stage.

-What a day in Matt’s life during his fentanyl addiction was like, including being dope-sick at this grandfather’s funeral.

-How addiction can breed an unhealthy support system among friends.

-The way addiction can impair a user’s belief that they can make important choices.

-The difficulty Matt faced in trying to leave the drug trade, including a scary experience with two strangers coming to collect.

-Matt delves into the personal difficulties that may have led him to self-medicate with drugs.

-Exploring how the drug trade has significantly impacted real estate prices throughout the province.

-Looking at how societal dynamics might change in a world where drugs are legalized and safely regulated.

QUOTES:


“Nobody feels like they’re going to be addicted to anything.”

“You would do one pill and almost feel normal again.”

“You almost wanna scratch yourself out of your own skin.”

“Either you’re gonna start living your life or you might as well die, really, cuz you’re just wasting it.”

“All it takes is a mistake to become addicted to something. There aren’t people that go out there and maliciously do drugs and stay addicted and want to be addicted.”

“Sometimes that support system’s also gotta remember that they got to struggle through it too.”

“Share your knowledge, because if we all share our own knowledge, our own stories about [addiction], then we’ll find better ways to combat it.”

LINKS:

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 08 - The amazing resilience of Tina Thebeau

SHOW NOTES:

Tina Thebeau works with Matt at Say Know as a blogger (you can hear her in our introductory episode, 00). A recovered long-term cocaine user and survivor of an abusive upbringing,  she has found strength within herself to heal others and urges users to find newer, healthier ways of coping with past trauma.

In this episode, Tina discusses living with the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), growing up in multiple abusive and unhealthy foster homes, and stepping back from the edge just as she was about to fall over.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Tina describes her early life experiences with FAS, being adopted by a dysfunctional family, and finding a healthy foster home.

-How a decision by Social Services prevented Tina from growing up with her loving foster family.

-Dealing with violent and vengeful thoughts at a young age.

-Tracking the development of Tina’s drug usage and addiction and discussing how drug abstinence programs have an unintended opposite effect.

-“Using dreams” and the ever-present fear of relapse while clean.

-How a mentor pulled through for Tina at the most pivotal point in her addiction.

-Finding continuing strength and motivation through faith and spirituality.

QUOTES:

“Slowly, slowly, they gained my trust, and I fell madly in love with these people and I wanted to be with these people forever and ever and ever.”
“I remember making a choice and a promise to myself that I was never, ever, ever gonna be like her. That I didn’t want to be that hateful and that cruel and that bitter.”
“You wanna know what’s wrong? Everything is so good, and usually when shit is so good, some shit hits the fan.”
“I didn’t want to give up. I just needed someone to believe in me.”
“I didn’t go through everything I went through to be a drug addict and die in a gutter. That wasn’t what my life was for.”
“If we could see ourselves the way other people saw us, I think we would be blown away.”

LINKS:

Tina’s author page at Say Know - https://www.sayknow.org/blog/?author=57d70b0f414fb55c4f3be3e7

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 07 - The Pharmaceutical Perspective

SHOW NOTES:

Christina Hrudka is the vice-chair of the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), which advocates for and represents the profession of pharmacy throughout Canada. A pharmacy owner herself, Christina is deeply concerned by the opioid crisis and the role pharmacists may have to play in finding a solution to this epidemic.

In this episode, Christina discusses how she feels pharmacists’ responsibilities should change, the potential benefits of legalized drug distribution, and the difficulty of breaking the cycle of addiction.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Christina outlines the CPhA’s structure, responsibilities, and current involvement in the opioid crisis.

-Theorizing why the opioid crisis became epidemic in the last several years.

-The CPhA’s push for “prescriptive authority” and why Christina believes pharmacists should be able to adjust dosage.

-Exploring the Pharmaceutical Information Program (PIP), Saskatchewan’s unique drug prescription database.

-Why the opioid crisis and its victims were overlooked for so long in Canada.

-The argument for providing addicts with medical-grade heroin and how medical marijuana may play a helpful role.

-Discussing Suboxone and other methods of breaking the addictive cycle.

-Addressing the current issues with medical marijuana distribution and plans for marijuana research through dispensation.

-The dilemma of wanting to treat a patient’s pain while not risking setting them down the path to addiction.

-How the CPhA and other organizations are tackling the methamphetamine epidemic as well.

QUOTES:

“Most of our issues have come from overprescribing for a long time.”
“We really, truly did not realize, as a healthcare profession, how addictive these products really were.”
“We are the last stop of that prescription before it goes out.”
“At the end of the day, there’s no reason we need to prescribe the quantities that we were.”
“These people need help. We need to treat them like real people.”
“Unless people’s core reason for being there and needing those drugs is addressed, the cycle will continue.”
“The current addict is a real person, and we can’t ignore them because they’re affecting everybody’s lives. It’s all of our problem.”

LINKS:

Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) website - https://www.pharmacists.ca

Pharmaceutical Information Program (PIP) website - https://www.ehealthsask.ca/services/pip

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 06 - Pawsitive Support

SHOW NOTES:

Darlene Chalmers and Colleen Dell work with therapy dogs through St. John's Ambulance and manage the therapy animal program Pawsitive Support based out of Drumheller, Alberta. On the side, they also use their animals to assist recovering military veterans. Through Pawsitive support, Darlene and Colleen work with convicted criminals and aim to encourage kinder and more empathetic behaviour in their clients by forging animal connections.

In this episode, Darlene and Colleen discuss establishing constructive relationships between clients and their animals, how interacting with these animals can affect criminal behaviour for the better, what dogs can offer that humans can't, and the role they may play in curbing addictive habits.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Darlene and Colleen explain how their programs tailored to each animal and client.

-How the atmosphere immediately changes when a therapy dog is introduced to an inmate.

-The ideal two-way relationship between a client and their animal.

-Using dogs to establish safe and healthy physical contact with clients who have deep-seated issues with being touched.

-The tricky process of ending the relationship between a dog and their client without hurting the latter.

-A few examples of the endearing relationships that can form between inmates and their dogs.

-How therapy dogs can engender empathy in even the most hardened inmates.

-Breaking down the timeline of a standard therapy period.

-The importance of a dog's non-judgmental nature in the therapeutic process.

-How Colleen and Darlene believe therapy animal programs may affect recidivism rates in the future.

-Distinguishing between therapy and service dogs.

-Looking toward the future of Pawsitive Support with regards to opioid treatment.
 

QUOTES:

"When you look at the dogs in these situations, they are about as happy as happy can be."

"We open the heart just a little bit and now the service provider can do what they need to do because that space has been created."

"There's a lot of learning about dog behaviour and dog psychology and I think that forces them to think outside themselves."

"What are you needing now that's gonna help you get where you want to be?"

"How can we recognize animals as part of our human well-being?"

LINKS:

Colleen Dell’s website - http://www.colleendell.ca/

Anna Belle the Dog’s Adventures - https://www.facebook.com/AnnaBelleSubiesAdventures/

Audeamus homepage - http://www.audeamus.ca/

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 5 - Dr. Darryl Gebien

SHOW NOTES:

Dr. Darryl Gebien is an expert on the opioid crisis currently affecting Canadians, having himself been a fentanyl addict. As an emergency room doctor in Ontario, Gebien was prescribed opioids as painkillers and ultimately came to rely on them in order to self-medicate his psychological issues. After serving a two-year prison sentence for writing prescriptions for himself, Dr. Gebien now advocates for drug users, asking for greater empathy and compassion from government, law enforcement, and the public.

In this episode, Dr. Gebien discusses how his addiction developed, the most dangerous methods of fentanyl ingestion, and why building a community may be the most important step on the road to addiction recovery.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Dr. Gebien describes the course of his fentanyl addiction and how everything spiraled out.

-The psychological issues that led Dr. Gebien to self-medicate.

-Exploring the different means addicts use to ingest fentanyl and the risks each method carries.

-How fentanyl powder complicates and obscures dosage, increasing the risk of overdose.

-The most surprising supporters of standardized fentanyl dosage distribution: high-level drug dealers.

-Dr. Gebien lays out his proposed solution to the opioid crisis.

-Recognizing that successful addiction treatment requires patients to overhaul their lifestyle.

-The limits of “safe injection site” as a program and as a term.

-Explaining “after-care” and the importance of building a community among recovering addicts.

-How shame and stigma only hampers the recovery of former addicts and can trigger relapses.

-Matt and Dr. Gebien take stock of how public and law enforcement perspectives toward addiction are already starting to change.

QUOTES:

“Being arrested saved my life.”
“That rapid onset, it might sound enjoyable to some people but not the down part, not the crashing off of it.”
“Nobody knows what concentration it is. How strong is this stuff? That’s the issue: there’s no standardization there.”
“An experienced heroin user generally knows how to play it very careful, but even they are overdosing and dying these days.”
“It’s just Russian roulette in that situation and some people are losing the game of roulette and they’re dying.”
“The real way to treat addiction is a changing lifestyle.”
“It takes time to undo the behaviours associated with substance abuse.”
“Getting people together who are not afraid, talking about my problems, sharing my feelings and being with connected with others is a huge part of recovery.”
“It destroys their lives! Not to mention their dental hygiene.”
“This is not a moral failing. It is a form of mental illness.”
“The first tenet of caring for others is to not judge them.”

LINKS:

Dr. Gebien’s Twitter feed - @DGebien, https://twitter.com/dgebien

Dr. Gebien’s YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRk3AMj6Vg_MQDmySZQqQfg/featured

Dr. Gebien's Fentanyl Strategy - www.sayknow.org/blog

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Episode 04 - Drug trafficking, addiction and contributing back to the community

SHOW NOTES:

Keith Bowering works in community outreach for the city of Saskatoon. A former methamphetamine addict and member of the party scene, Keith is deeply familiar both with the lows of being a user and the difficulty that comes with beginning and completing treatment.

In his conversation with Matt, Keith discusses the culture that forms between meth users, how meth production and distribution has gotten worse over time, and the mental and institutional obstacles that prevent addicts from entering rehab. He also explains why we need to rethink the binary of using vs. clean across every substance addiction.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Keith relates how he started using meth to allow him to stay awake and productive, and the way his lifestyle changed to accommodate for his addiction.

-Exploring the meth lifestyle as one of continual gain and loss, including an explanation of “moffee.”

-Keith delves into how trauma and his younger self’s philosophy influenced his addiction.

-Debunking the idea that legalization will create a larger number of addicts.

-How meth production and distribution in Canada began as a relatively controlled and “safe” process and has since devolved into a haphazard and DIY industry.

-Discussing responsible drug dealing and disclosing the quality and risks of a certain product to customers.

-The way that the decreasing cost of meth and its increased accessibility has sowed discord in the meth scene.

-Keith’s run-in with a paranoid, hatchet-wielding user.

-Why it’s difficult for severe addicts to even get started with treatment, let along go through with it to completion.

-The breaking point that pushed Keith to get clean to good.

-Weighing the pros and cons of different treatment programs, avoiding the the addicted/sober false dichotomy, and why we should look toward Portugal.

-How the political right may actually play a constructive part in the logistics of drug legalization and regulation.

-Diving into the “economy” of the meth scene, which is largely based around the bartering of stolen electronic goods.

QUOTES:

“Often what would happen is that you’d fall asleep and lose everything that you had ever owned, and you’d wake up and you’d start rebuilding.”
“As a teenager I was just gonna drive myself into oblivion and then be done... Looking back on it I just kinda shake my head.”
“Nobody wins from everybody killing each other.”
“I’ve been to the promised land of Methmonton many times.”
“When you’re doing meth, the violence is just part of the day.”
“I was so broken and so helpless that I couldn’t help myself to get into a treatment centre or do any of the process. They just make it an uphill battle.”
“People get sent to treatment centres... but they don’t understand that you CAN make it out.”
“I had no idea people could just stop doing meth and walk away.”
“I’m very successful at what I’ve been doing solely because I’ve been training for thirty plus years to be doing it.”
“You have to spend the time and do the work and see what their path is.”
“I don’t think court ordering people to go to treatment and stuff is really helpful.”

LINKS:

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Episode 03 - Senator Vernon White on Marihuana legislation

SHOW NOTES:

Vernon White is a senator for Ontario, former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, and onetime police chief for both Durham and Ottawa. White’s extensive experience in law enforcement has given him a thorough and nuanced perspective on drug policy and treatment, which he hopes will have a constructive impact on legislation in the senate. In this episode, he discusses the importance keeping law enforcement flexible, how supervised drug consumption could cut down risks and costs across the board, and viewing drug policy less as a law enforcement issue and more as a social concern. He also explains why partisan thinking in politics can impede the implementation of genuinely good ideas.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Senator White outlines his path from being a Cape Bretoner to joining the RCMP, including his service in the northern territories.

-His appointment to the senate and how partisanship can negatively impact constructive politics.

-Why, as a police chief, White tailored legislation to fit the communities he served.

-White explains why we need to take a practical approach to drug legislation and how supervised consumptions sites could cut down on crime and mitigate public health issues.

-How the Dark Web provides a new pathway for drug distributors and organized crime.

-Expanding the legislative and medical scope from opioids to methamphetamine as well, and why the latter is overlooked as a health crisis.

-The positive effects of introducing better drug education and counselling to schools throughout Ottawa.
 

QUOTES:

“Negative relationships will inhibit change and positive relationships will allow you to create change.”

“For me, a good idea is a good idea. I don’t care who has it.”

“I think most cops in this country would agree... that we shouldn’t see someone with a criminal record for a joint outside of a school... but someone with 36 joints, that’s a different story.”

“If we had 11 people dying [a day] in Canada of any other illness, we’d be doing a hell of a lot more than we are right now.”

“I think the addiction we should be talking about when it comes to marijuana legislation is the addiction governments have to taxes because that’s really what this is about.”

“My goal was to take the word ‘drug addiction’ out of our justice dictionary and put it into our social and health dictionary.”

“It becomes a criminal justice matter because we’re not dealing with it as a health issue.”

LINKS:

Senator Vernon White's page - http://sen.parl.gc.ca/vwhite/

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Bonus Episode - Jason Warick

SHOW NOTES:

On this special bonus episode of the Say Know Podcast, Matt spoke with Jason Warick, a CBC investigative journalist and former reporter for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Jason explores the similarities between investigative reporting and police work, the recent Humboldt Broncos tragedy, and how journalists maintain their mental health in the face of death and heartbreak. They also delve into importance of anonymous sources in both journalism and criminal justice and how to approach each case responsibly and ethically. Lastly, Jason explains why he's hopeful for both the futures of drug policy and journalism.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-The emotional effect of reporting on tragic news and a reporter's responsibility to share painful yet important stories with the world.

-Weighing complete empathy vs. complete disconnect when dealing with a sad story and finding the ideal balance.

-Considering every side even in the most tragic of stories and doing right by treating all facets critically.

-How do you cover all perspectives in a story fairly when everyone involved isn't equally available?

-What responsibilities do both journalists and police have to their confidential informants?

-The lengths Jason went to in order to preserve the anonymity and safety of his informant durina trial.

-The essential role of anonymity in maintaining constructive relationships between people and their institutions.

-Walking the fine line of establishing trust with your sources while avoiding developing too personal a relationship with them.

-The shifting attitudes toward drug policing and crime Jason has noticed over the course of his career.

-Hope on the horizon: the growing trend toward analytic journalism that truly explores the larger issues that affect society.

-Jason's final pointers on writing humane, constructive and informative journalism and living healthy while you do so.

QUOTES:

"It's not only the facts of what might happened in that incident... but it's also to tell the world what Humboldt is like and what these people are like.

"If you have no emotion, that's gonna show. There's gonna be no emotion in your stories either."

"It's a real struggle and I find myself veering to one extreme or the other and then having to mentally bring myself back."

"Our job is not only to convey the emotion but convey the truth of things, right? So if it's untrue, then you're doing a disservice to the public."

"That relationship of confidentiality between a source and a journalist or a police officer... is fundamental to our democracy and fundamental to justice in this country."

"The meaningful change is gonna happen when everyone—social workers, police officers, journalists, everybody—really starts to look at the big picture."

"Sometimes you have to write about horrible things that happen to good people, and to me, part of the way I get around that or deal with that is to find something redeeming."

"Not everything in life is horrible just like that thing you've been talking about for eight hours."

LINKS:

"Saving Crystal Napope," article by Jason - http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/saving-crystal-napope

CBC story on Jason protecting sources - http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/starphoenix-reporter-jason-warick-placed-in-custody-for-refusing-to-hand-over-notebooks-1.2984844

Jason's StarPhoenix stories - http://thestarphoenix.com/author/jason-warick-saskatoon-starphoenix

Jason's Twitter feed - @WarickCBC

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle - http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment
Episode 02 - Time to Legalize? Author, Bill Bogart, thinks so.

SHOW NOTES:

Bill Bogart is University Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Windsor, as well as the author of Off the Street: Legalizing Drugs, which explores research-based drug policy. Bill is interested in the actual impact laws have on socioeconomic conditions. Over the last eight years, Bill has also written books on gambling and obesity and was struck how drugs have been not been subject to the same regulatory and educational approach as the other two. In this episode, he makes a case for the legalization of all recreational drugs while using medical supervision and education to reduce harm among users.

EDIT:

- Bill mentioned that there is no legal source of cocaine currently available. However, he wanted  to note that this was a mistake and that there is still a legal supply of cocaine, specifically as a topical pain reliever. England legally accesses the drug for that purpose.

HIGHLIGHTS:

-Bill discusses how criminalization has not driven down drug use amoungst the population.

-The effectiveness of regulation and education in combating smoking.

-Moving away from criminalization and toward harm reduction.

-Addressing safe injection sites and why they're an indication of changing attitudes.

-How legalizing and regulating drugs will not only reduce crime but contribute to the economy.

-Moving away from abstinence-only drug education and toward discussing moderation and risk-assessment; "Permit, but discourage."

-How do we approach the legalization of party drugs such as cocaine?

-Differentiated between use and harmful use, and the important of introducing a social support system alongside legalization.

-Why the United States' drug policies could negatively impact Canada's changing ones.

QUOTES:

"Shifting behavioural patterns... is a long, tough, complicated battle."
"Use and criminal sanctions are not very closely related."
"What is it in your life that you want to use heroin to try to blot it out?"
"The opioid crisis is forcing us in this emergency context to face drug usage."
"The silver lining of the very, very dark cloud of the opioid crisis is that we are actually moving to a context of legalization."
"If we legalize drugs, we confront the thugs!"
"I fear the notion that legalization will somehow become equated with approval."
"Anybody who thinks that capital punishment is going to solve this is from the dark side of the Moon."

LINKS:

Bill's homepage - http://www.wabogart.com/

Bill's Twitter handle - @wbogart2

Off the Street: Legalizing Drugs page at Dundurn - https://www.dundurn.com/books/Street

Official Say Know homepage - http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website - https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle -
http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com