I see the damage and Shame of addiction. Last month I was in the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, BC. One of the worst hit areas in Canada and the effects of drug addiction and mental Illness.

It’s beyond a description of emotional pain to watch the death in untreated persons suffering with addiction and the look in their eyes, looking for the next fix, pill or liquid. it is shameful the Vancouver health board and other government agencies are pouring money into a problem that is increasing more drug addiction behaviors, overdose deaths, homelessness, crime free zones so addicts can sell and use drugs freely and creating a slum for addicts to live and exist to use drugs freely and eventually die. This has progressed since the 1990’s with really no change.

I feel Ashamed knowing that Canada being a county of social medicine with not allot of awareness of recovery. The government officials are still trying to treat addictions as a medical issue, not looking at the complexities of untreated addictions or mental conditions. There are very few detox beds, hardly any transitional living houses, or inpatient treatment. There are many 12-step model approaches which is great start however other treatment and training is needed to address the underline conditions or diagnoses that may not be addressed in 12 step model treatment. There are many untreated persons in Vancouver downtown eastside with complex trauma, chronic addiction and mental health diagnoses.

I have seen history repeating itself in Vancouver, programs focused on harm reduction with nothing more than keeping the addicts activated to fill the void with more drugs.

The same talks on harm reduction are happening now as they were when it started back in the 1990’s. Many of the same voices spouting the same approach – the only difference are they are using new languages but doing the same thing. Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. It is sad seeing and watching enable – ism in action by healthcare workers encouraged and trained by the government. Food and water are essential to staying alive however giving food to the homeless does not save struggling addicts from dying. Having stricter laws in the criminal justice system provides structure and accountability and can start the process of some folks suffering with substance abuse disorders or mental health conditions.
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