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