Monday, July 22, 2013


Al Arsenault is a Founding Member of Odd Squad Productions Society which makes educational videos for youth about drugs and he is a 27-year veteran with the Vancouver Police Department. Al recently retired from V.P.D. in May 2006 having walked the beat in Vancouver’s notoriously drug-infested Downtown Eastside for many years. Al possesses a B.Sc. Degree in Geography and Geology from
McMaster University (1977) and a B.Ed. Degree in Geography and Physical Education from Queen’s University (1978). He is also a member of the International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy.

Although I wouldn’t say that Monteith died directly because of INSITE, I would say he met his demise because of the ideology that promotes the idea that poisons can be ingested in a supposedly ‘safe’ manner.  It’s poison regardless if a nurse is watching or not!  This pro-drug stance Vancouver has taken promotes harm, as the drugs taken by Monteith (and yes being sold on the very doorstep of the SIS), were done so with an illusion of a reduced likelihood of harm or even death.   Just ask the beat cops (and even some of the SIS staff who are fearful of speaking) about the dealers working in front of the SIS. 

But who wants to speak up when people like Ms. Corbella, who merely offer opposing views, are threatened?

There is all this talk about curtailing drug-related diseases and overdose deaths through needle exchanges and drug injection sites as a harm reduction measure.  Abstinence is the ultimate harm reduction measure: harm reduction without a treatment modality attached to it is a wasted effort.  The SIS studies are highly suspect as pointed out by Berner’s Op Ed article below. These ‘studies' are scientism at its best as the researchers are all big advocates of the site who have been getting millions of dollars to promote the Harm Reduction message.  Doesn’t anyone who funds these guys and The Lancet who publishes their studies see this obvious bias? 

Coerced treatment is just as effective as voluntary treatment, but that would mean that we would have to be judgmental about their drug usage (not who they are as people)...and such judgments attack the core of this growth factor of the junkie industry. It is false compassion indeed. Addicts need the cure, not the poison; the secret to beating addiction is hard work through decent treatment. Drug addiction is all about the loss of human potential and to give them boxes of needles in lieu of treatment is shameful. The rich get treatment and the poor get Harm Reduction.

What is really needed are solid drug prevention measures and decent long-term treatment…and it’s hard work to be sure, but these efforts would far better resolve all of these problems. What addicts WANT are free needles, lots of drugs, and a place to shoot up because they are “not ready to quit”. What they NEED is treatment. Bleeding hearts (and legalizers) pander to the lowest common denominator and facilitate drug use to make them feel compassionate (and further their cause). The Vancouver experience has been a dismal failure with hundreds dead and very high rates of disease- and look at the amputees hobbling around down there now! Coerced treatment works as well as voluntary treatment and I see no government-sponsored treatment centers as sweet and sexy as our drug injection site. It’s hard to find treatment in the shadow of Harm Reduction (watch part 5/7 of this video clip- (@ 7 minute mark) for some real ‘insight’ into this mess).

“Adams said the staff screen clients and are ‘very astute as to who is a first-time user and who is not.’ ”

Watch this ‘Streets of Plenty’ clip to show what an utter lie this statement is.  Addicts are so drug-addled as to be unable to see that there is hope for salvaging their human potential- what is the excuse for the blindness shown by those in the 'junkie industry' (besides making a living off the backs of these poor unfortunates so desperately needing help)?

We owe it to addicts to be judgmental, not about WHO they are as people rather, about HOW their drug-related behaviour is costing themselves, their families and society at large. To do anything else lacks compassion and moral fiber.

Al Arsenault
Board Member,
Drug Prevention Network of Canada


  1. Let's keep the articles going! The public needs to know the truth, and then the funding politicians will respond to the public vote. Isn't time for our famous polling companies to take a poll on how many of our citizens would like Vancouver's Harm Reduction policy changed to serious efforts at getting people into recovery.

  2. Al,
    I support recovery. People do recover when they have to.

    While reading your well thought out post, I remember the motto of the Vancouver police, "To Serve and Protect". Thanks for continuing to support the community.

    A comment I made on Huffington Post recommending interventions not societal enabling offers further effective action to support recovery.

    Tibor A. Palatinus, Holistic Rehab Advisor