Monday, January 30, 2012


I received a fascinating and welcome phone call this morning from Gordon Hay, Executive Director and Founder of Venture Academy.

Gordon wanted to learn more about DPNC. We had a marvelous conversation and discovered that we are very much on the same page regarding abstinence based prevention and treatment.

I confess that I was not familiar at all with Venture Academy - a very complex and thorough program for troubled teens, operating in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario  - but I have now spent some time reading their website, and I encourage you to do so as well.

This looks like another first-rate resource. The facility in British Columbia operates in Kelowna.

Gordon Hay has assured us that Venture will join the DPNC membership and perhaps we can look forward to seeing him and  colleague or two at our next get-together in the spring.

If you'd like to welcome Gordon and Venture into our common cause, you can say "Hello" to directly at

Monday, January 23, 2012


National Therapeutic Community Symposium
March 5-8, 2012
Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo, BC

The Nanaimo Addiction Foundation and Nanaimo Region John Howard Society would like to invite professionals supporting the needs of individuals struggling with addiction and/or mental health issues to attend the Symposium.
What is a Therapeutic Community?
“A therapeutic community is a drug-free environment in which people with addictive (and other) problems live together in an organized and structured way in order to promote change and make possible a drug-free life in the outside society. The therapeutic community forms a miniature society in which residents, and staff in the role of facilitators, fulfil distinctive roles and adhere to clear rules, all designed to promote the transitional process of the residents.”(Ottenberg 1993 in Broekaert: 2001:29).
Early Registration: is $350 and available by contacting:

Regular registration for the entire event will be $400. Hotel accommodations are NOT included. Recommended accommodations are cited on the Symposium website

Display & Tradeshow space is available ($200 entire event) by email to:

Who should attend?
Professionals providing programs and services or offering support for individuals challenged by addiction and/or mental health issues are invited. Targeted guests include: Academics, R.C.M.P. Corrections staff and management, health authorities, government program managers and leaders, Canadian Forces staff, addiction treatment staff, researchers, employment assistance program providers, planners and policy makers, community workers, legal professionals, justice system staff, and others.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


The following was sent to me by a friend who knows the DTES better than most.. This is just about one of the best pieces on the subject I`ve ever read.

Think back about 10 years when Vancouver's injection drug users all got together and created a lobby group - VANDU ….and people thought they were nuts. They lobbied for drug users rights and eventually they got it from the local politicians. Guys like quiet uneventful Philp Owen woke up and thought they could be viewed as a visionary if they got on board. The druggies were able to convince the locals that instead of being called DRUG ABUSERS they should be called DRUG USERS and eventually their lifestyle was accepted and they were called THE DRUG COMMMUNITY. All the while without having any desire to kick the habit, pay their share of the taxes, and contribute to society like the rest of us. They were able to convince some of the locals that DRUG INTERVENTION and DRUG ABSTINENCE were mean, nasty, and unrealistic goals. They could now continue to live off the rest of society without any guilt.

And many left leaning people got good paying jobs in Vancouver to service the drug community's every need. Millions and millions of tax dollars poured into the area without anyone monitoring the results. Politicians pretended to base their entire political direction on helping the poor addicted people but never really did anything significant to change the situation. That way their political careers flourished. (Libby Davies, Jenny Kwan, Jim Green, Mayor Larry Campbell, Philip Owen, etc.etc.)

As long as there were plenty of drug addicts kept around they could all keep their jobs. So any time there is a hint of changing the status quo they all get back together and get up in arms.

The majority of the public cannot relate to someone who is addicted to drugs such as heroin, pot, and cocaine because they don't have addicted family members or friends on the stuff. They don't understand that a heroin or cocaine addiction which is an illegal substance is similar to a tobacco, prescription drug or alcohol addiction which is a legal substance. After all they are all similar drugs with similar effects. Some are injected. Some are smoked. Some are inhaled. And some are consumed. In order to kick the habit, on ANY OF THESE DRUGS, one does not have to be strapped down to a hospital bed for days on end monitored by medical staff like an Intensive Care Unit.

Drug treatment centres aren't fancy hospitals built like prisons watching the patients every move 24/7. Instead most drug treatment facilties are simply supportive housing where patients are free to come and go and where abstinence is preached along with group counselling. Nothing fancy. Nothing highly technical that requires a lengthy hospital visit. People can kick drug addictions in their own home.

The public can't really relate to a person addicted to illegal drugs but they can relate to someone with a tobacco, prescription drugs, or alcohol addiction because they are more likely to have family members or friends with these problems. They may even have this problem themselves.

Getting back to the story of the Free booze lounge in the skids…. Vancouver Alcoholics, with help from the poverty pimps, are trying to do what the drug users did a decade ago. They are organizing themselves and are demanding a steady stream of free booze everyday of the week. This is another new industry where many jobs could be created.

This time they are not getting the same look from the public. Many of us personally know people that have a problem with alcohol. We think that it is ridiculous to think that we would reward people like Uncle Harold and Cousin Fred with free booze when we know they are just lazy slobs that want to party all night and sleep all day.

If we do give free booze to these people what is going to guarentee they are not going to continue to supplement their drinking with the mouthwash, shaving cream etc. at night?

Also if we start feeding people free booze is the public legally responsible once they leave the facilty and begin to cross the street while intoxicated. What if they leave the facililty go lie down in the alley and freeze to death? Are we now going to have to hire personal escorts or chauffeurs to make sure they return to their one room apartment?

Instead of Community GARDENS Vancouver could have Community U-BREW sites all over the city to feed the alcoholics.

Of this keeps up… instead of having to go to work everyday to pay the taxes… some of us could spend the time fermenting alcohol and growing pot for their own personal consumption while living off the public teet.

As it is right now each year our TAX FREEDOM DATE is in June or July. That means that half of all the money we make goes to paying taxes so that the rest of society can live.

Let's get realistic….We all can't sit around and wait for the welfare cheque to roll in each month.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Latest Stroke of Brilliance

You may find the following article from the Vancouver Courier a mad flight of fancy.

But it is not.

It is copied directly from the paper.

The story is simple enough.

But try to get your head around it.

What is the difference between this frightening absurdity and the satirical letter to the editor on safe guns below?

Group touts Insite-style lounge for 'illicit' drinkers

Plan includes free alcohol for the addicted

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Safe handguns

By Paul Schober, The Province January 8, 2012

Kudos to whoever came up with the recent plan to distribute safe crack pipes to the needy. But it got me to thinking - couldn't we as a society be doing even more to help?

Not the drug users. I'm talking about the deplorable and hazardous state of many of the handguns used by some of our most desperate citizens when they feel it's necessary to shoot someone.

Cheaply made and improperly maintained handguns can back-fire and explode, seriously injuring or even killing their victim (I mean the shooter here, not the tar-get of the gun).

I suggest we initiate a government program to replace dangerous pistols with well-made and properly maintained Canadian-made guns. After all, these people are going to shoot anyway, regardless of our personal disapproval of the activity and their choice of lifestyle.

Each government-issued pistol would be hermetically sealed and come with a warning label, as well as a pamphlet encouraging alter-natives to gun violence like yoga or vegetarianism.

Paul Schober, Vancouver

© Copyright (c) The Province


We offer today two new videos, both graciously supplied by Sean Heaney of Servants of Hope.

The first is a record of the Servants of Hope feeding the homeless at Pigeon Park this Christmas.

To quote Chuck Doucette, the Drug Prevention Network's new President, "it shows a sample of what you can do to help people living on the street without giving them drugs or a place to shoot up."

This video can be seen here.

Below, you will find a full-length movie about Oxycontin and the people who market and sell it.


But we share it with you because "Oxy" has gone viral - it is a runaway epidemic on our streets today, and we would like very much to see some of the folks who are responsible for getting this scourge into our communities accept their role and perhaps even do something to minimize the deadly impacts of their product.


Sunday, January 1, 2012


We have been asking those of you who share our goals of supporting abstinence-based Prevention and Treatment to become full-fledged MEMBERS of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada.

You do this by contributing $200 a year as an organization and $50 a year as an individual so that we may continue to support your efforts in the community, in the media and in Parliament.

We operate on a comically modest budget and every contribution helps.

Now it is easier than ever to join.


Thanks and great wishes for the New Year!