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Local Directory for Ottawa, ON


Harm reduction in the context of real life

A couple of weeks ago I attended a panel discussion about “harm reduction in a socio-political context,” sponsored by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

During the audience Q&As, a young man named Max Rowsell took the microphone. He told us that he has been using opiates intravenously for three years, and he just found […]

A hypothetical question for you

Supposing there were an addictive little pink pill that would:

1) make you feel good all the time
2) have no negative side effects
3) not impede your ability to function in the world
4) only cost you ten cents a day, and
5) be legally obtainable on an ongoing basis

Would you take the addictive little pink pill? Why […]

The addiction stranglehold

Conservative politicians seem to think it’s a simple enough matter to quit doing drugs. Just quit, that’s all. Just stop doing them. Just say no. They believe a more punitive approach to drug use will yield the desired results. If we wield a big enough stick, addicts will decide drugs aren’t worth it, and will […]

Damien Trimingham’s story

Tony Trimingham was one of two speakers last night at a public forum at the Ottawa Public Library. He came all the way from Australia to talk about harm reduction programs, and to tell us about his son, Damien, who died of a heroin overdose twelve years ago at the age of 23.

It was […]

So we got the drug treatment facility

As you’ve probably heard, the funding for two residential drug treatment centres for youth was announced Tuesday – a 15-bed facility for English-speaking kids, and a 5-bed facility for French-speaking kids.

Better than nothing, I suppose. But I predict the effects will be negligible. Most of the addicts I see would not qualify for treatment […]

Ideology trumps evidence: Conservative drug policy

InSite is the only supervised drug injection site in North America, and it’s located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“Insite is supported by a broad range of organizations and individuals including the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health, Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister David Emerson, Senator Larry Campbell, Vancouver Police Chief […]

The police chief called me an idiot

“Anybody who suggests that our job is not to combat every crime and combat every criminal involved in every crime, then they are idiots,” said Chief Vern White, “We pursue these folks in every possible way using every tool we have.”

I would suggest that the police enforce the laws somewhat selectively. They have priorities. They […]

Crack kit program gets an infusion

Good news for Ottawa’s crack addicts and those who care whether they live or die: the province has stepped in with funding for our Crack Kit Program.

As you may recall, Ottawa City Council withdrew its share of funding for the program earlier this year. Evidently Council thought the lives of all of our addicts […]

Crime Time with Mini-Me

New legislation has just been introduced by the Harper government. It’s no surprise that Harper’s taking the “Get Tough on Crime” approach: it’s a perfect fit for his George Bush Mini-Me leadership style.

These guys are tackling crime like we’re experiencing an unprecedented explosion of it and it must be stopped before the criminals seize […]

Crack in the media

Sunday morning, like most Sunday mornings, the Ottawa Sun was blowing all over the neighbourhood. They’ve been giving newspapers away on Sundays by tossing them onto everybody’s stoop, where the wind immediately separates them into individual sheets and blows them into gardens and gutters. I took a picture and emailed it to the Sun.

But […]