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Meeting,Vancouver,stigma and addiction,how to deal with it.

Submitted by David Borden on
As the meeting was posted for RSVP by the 21st and I didn't find out about it till the 25th I thought I'd have to drop in.I had the 26th in my head and wound up doing a walking tour of the DTES on Saturday.I found the meeting today(Monday),right where it was supposed to be and managed a seat at the VANDU table.This was a meeting of those in town that were all in either the treatment or the advocacy movements.I was the only one that introduced himself as just a person trying to help.Everyone else had some kind of title or cause.The meeting was,I thought,supposed to be attended by members of the VCPD.They were conspicuous in their absence.I was a bit disappointed,as I had a speech all worked out for the chief.I did manage to fit it in but he never heard it.Perhaps he will sometime.He's the leader of the recent concerted effort by the media,police and courts,business associations and city hall to re intensify the stigma that sticks to the problem of addiction in an effort to forward their agenda of cleaning up the streets before the 2010.(Olympics)This is the most positive meeting I have attended since the February meetings put on by UBC.I met most of the workers from insite and the street health workers and many board members of VANDU.I was both surprised and happy to hear these people speak.They were articulate and well read and knew how to speak in a public forum very effectively.Ann Livingston,the co founder takes no prisoners and knows her district and it's services like no one else.I had a much greater admiration for this group than I had before and I thought the idea was brilliant.It's comforting to know that there are more than a few good people in Vancouver that want new and different solutions to the issue of drug addiction.Most were in agreement that a reopening of the NAOMI project would be an ideal start.There was one of the workers from NAOMI there but by meetings end I just had time to hit the hospital for blood tests...Next time I'll try to nail him down on a release date for the data.I am 100% certain it will show that out of control addicts lived normally for one year with no difference other than a secure supply of heroin.

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