The Bureau investigates alleged trafficking of government-issued heroin replacement pills from a safer supply clinic in British Columbia
Thanks for this reporting Adam.
As a Nanaimo resident near the rich kids of North Nanaimo I also want an end to safe supply in its current iteration.
AS a former BC résident who still has family and friends there, I worry for them. It’s all contributing to the waste of what was a lovely province.
Did anyone really think about the possibilities of the "safe supply" décision?
Excellent work Adam. This won’t end until BC stops voting NDP. And the Liberals are removed. There is no such thing as safer supply, the govt just enables and prolongs their tortured life of addiction, the majority of them are barely functioning outside these “safe supply” sites. This govt coalition refuses to admit their program has failed terribly, but we can all see it with our own eyes, in every city and town when we drive by the crime-ridden safe supply sites. And it’s only getting worse. Safe supply needs to end.
“If you allow the Government to break the law during emergencies, they will create emergencies to break the law.” - This is the fundamental philosophy that is behind the "Safer Supply" agenda. Create a crisis so you can control the "solution". They are deliberately trying to undermine the social order that we have lived under for decades. These are not "good people" making poor decisions.
I read an article by an economist recently about real wages starting to drop in the 1970's, mothers having to go out to work since then, and the resulting stress on women who normally provided emotional support for the family and the children especially who needed her support. He thought the current drug use by the youth was tied to this. That was before 2021 when it became clear that at present the average young Canadian has little hope of owning a home.
Thanks Sam, this has always been a contentious issue for me and I appreciate you solidifying my stance against it completely.
Thanks, Adam. As many of these investigations and articles as you can possibly complete are how many are necessary. “Safer supply” is not safer for the kid who would not be experimenting/addicted without it, nor is it safer for the “prescriptees” who sell their prescriptions for their preferred Street drugs. Nanaimo certainly is NOT “safer” than it was before this ridiculous government brainwave.
Vote BC Conservative. Change the channel.
Excellent reporting Adam with insights into a truly tragic public policy.
When we reviewed "safe supply" (Public Supply of Addictive Drugs, link below) last year we summarized papers that talked about diversion. Many authors acknowledged that people sell their drugs. In one paper 19 of the 21 people who received PSAD admitted to diverting their prescriptions (#14 in our Results). The BC Govt is reducing their credibility by denying that diversion is occurring.
Our review identified some important gaps in research, including: "Will PSAD lead to increased diversion creating an expanded illicit market and more cases of OUD and other substance use disorders?"
Few people read our review because it was immediately attacked by advocates for PSAD. Your reporting has helped ensure that important questions don't remain suppressed. Like many others I'm grateful. For anyone interested here's a link to our review:
I'm a bit confused about how this "safer supply" works. In earlier years I would occasionally see a young person drinking methadone in front of the pharmacist. This made sense because methadone has a street value, just like "dillies".
Why are addicts provided with dilaudid they can take home? Shouldn't they be expected to take their pills on site?
Also, as a Duncan resident who sometimes drives past the "Wellness and Recovery Center" on York Street, I'm always upset to see the collection of sad people and their carts collected in front. It's like a (very) mini DTES in Vancouver. I know they drove a longterm restaurant out of their location across the street.
Would more treatment beds be part of the answer.
It sounds like your problem isn't really with safe supply, it's with street disorder, and the boomercon mind thinks the two are related. You mention a dozen or so people outside of the clinic---presumably far more people are given Rx for hydromorphone from the clinic. The issue is that street disorder is one problem, and diversion another, and overdose from fentanyl another.
The problem of street disorder is basically all over every large urban area in BC---even Maple Ridge, or Trail or Prince George: drive down the "right street" and there is disorder. So that is a problem that should be solved, but, unfortunately, given the Charter, it's very unlikely the historical "what's your business? Move along then..." situation that prevailed for much of history is ever going to renew itself, absent use of the notwithstanding clause, which is probably not justified.
The problem of diversion is a serious one, and teenagers really shouldn't be using opiods, they're not even fun party drugs. Acid, MDMA, even meth is better than down. This is a serious issue, but, again, I think teenagers are being portrayed as stupider than they really are, telling porkie pies in order to get out of responsibility. Or maybe the TikTok/Cellphone generation is different from the 90s-00s drug dilettante teenager set, where you would go to erowid.org and look up drugs, and read all sorts of things. But I am skeptical, I google "dillies" and the first hit is about hydropmorphone. Maybe these are stupid rich kids dosing these things---but there's only so much you can do in a free society.
Finally, we have the issue of fentanyl of unknown potency. At least some users are using fentanyl patches/hydromorphone as a substitute for street drugs. These people are being helped by this program, so, to take it away because home owners and rich stupid teenagers are more important? I don't think that's a good suggestion either.
So it's a problem on at least three fronts, but it's probably unconstitutional to take away safe supply, it would violate a drug user's right to security of the person. I don't think there are easy answers, and, on the one hand, as a sort of responsible psychedelic dilettante in the old Head vein, I find these street disorder producing junkies loathsome, but, on the other hand, a lot of them have FAS, childhood trauma, learning disabilities, etc. etc. It's hardly like it is their fault. You can't just intern them in treatment either, again, due to the Charter.
I do know that at many conferences with panels with "lived experience" participants, when I ask "whither the LSD or MDMA or other relatively safe and fun drugs?" their eyes bug out. The whole junkie mentality is to get as much junk as possible, and fuck everything and everyone else. I do think there's a bit too much emphasis on junk and junkies. My "lived experience" is that my psychedelic using peers are mostly normal middle class people who like to party on the weekends or at a few festivals a year. That's responsible drug use. In fact, this use pattern is so safe that it practically requires no Government intervention to sustain.
So what do we do? Especially for young people---why in the heck are young people "partying" on down instead of acid, mushrooms, etc? You can grow tons of mushrooms for a few dollars...
I went to Dover and graduated in 2007. The north end of Nanaimo never used to be the way it is now. We used to walk to the mall after school, meet up with friends behind the fire hall for a hackie sack and it was all good times. I would even feel ok with my kids walking around, to and from Dover. Nanaimo, and all of BC needs to get rid of these policies that are damaging the community. We are glad to get the hell out of there.
Perhaps the writer would care to do some balanced reporting and contact me, the person who has dealt with this issue, a person who has tried to work with Nanaimo council, the NDP government and other decision makers all with the intention of savings lives.
But, these days regardless of country, it appears no one cares to save lives.
The more dead the better.
Crankshaw Holdings in Nanaimo.
Great story. Thanks. I live near downtown Nanaimo and can attest to everything here being accurate.