Feature image: Times Columnist interviewing SIC Society members while this VICPD fellow here was directed to hover over them, I had to encourage him to move:

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We need the VICPD to help, like I hear they are in Kitchener Ontario with Police Chief  Bryan Larkin’s leadership and what sounds like incredible community engagement!  

“He uses his political credibility to support us in both getting the services we need and recognizing that addictions is not a criminal issue”  Anonymous

We kind of have yet another what seems to be muzzled Police Chief Elsner and, he seems aligned with Larkin yet, look  at the dramatic BS mess he is in, seemed so contrived and, well, it was!  If you also look at why the Police Union is Complaining that Elsner was being a bully, you might agree with Elsner on this one.  I am calling him the “in limbo” Police Chief; he needs our help and support. Yeah, I said that.  Contrary to popular VICPD belief they been spoon fed, I do not hate cops, I hate the system they have to toil under whereby people get oppressed by them who do not fit into colonial social norms, not my norms!  A CTEHV member is working on a petition. (Gawd help us all with this Puppet Man Interim Police Chief Del Manek.)

“Recent years have seen drug users’ organizations, and their allies make substantial progress in advocating for the health and human rights of people who use illicit drugs.”

Ann Livingston shared a link to the group: BC/ Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors.

7 hrs ·

For downloadable whole story:

http://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/…/s12954-016-…
This paper reports on the results of a participatory needs assessment with drug users in British Columbia, Canada, in which an unexpected finding was an opportunity to engage marginalized people who drink alcohol in drug user activism and harm reduction.

This paper summarizes the results of the needs assessment for drug users; explores the rationale for greater involvement of illicit drinkers in drug user activism based on shared priorities, shared values, and experiences of polysubstance use; and identifies barriers to drug user organizations becoming more inclusive of illicit drinkers.

We use the term “illicit drinking use” to describe the consumption of non-beverage alcohol (alcohol not meant for human consumption, e.g., mouthwash and rubbing alcohol) and the consumption of beverage alcohol in ways that are highly criminalized (e.g., public drinking by people who are homeless).

http://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-016-0126-x

Exerpt:

OPEN ACCESS

Results of a participatory needs assessment demonstrate an opportunity to involve people who use alcohol in drug user activism and harm reduction

Harm Reduction Journal201613:37

DOI: 10.1186/s12954-016-0126-x

Received: 27 August 2016

Accepted: 5 December 2016

Published: 9 December 2016

Abstract

Background

Drug users’ organizations have made progress in recent years in advocating for the health and human rights of people who use illicit drugs but have historically not emphasized the needs of people who drink alcohol.

Methods

This paper reports on a qualitative participatory needs assessment with people who use illicit substances in British Columbia, Canada. We held workshops in 17 communities; these were facilitated by people who use illicit drugs, recorded with ethnographic fieldnotes, and analyzed using critical theory.

Results

Although the workshops were targeted to people who use illicit drugs, people who primarily consume alcohol also attended. An unexpected finding was the potential for drug users’ organizations and other harm reduction programs to involve “illicit drinkers”: people who drink non-beverage alcohol (e.g. mouthwash, rubbing alcohol) and those who drink beverage alcohol in criminalized ways (e.g., homeless drinkers). Potential points of alliance between these groups are common priorities (specifically, improving treatment by health professionals and the police, expanding housing options, and implementing harm reduction services), common values (reducing surveillance and improving accountability of services), and polysubstance use.

Conclusions

Despite these potential points of alliance, there has historically been limited involvement of illicit drinkers in drug users’ activism. Possible barriers to involvement of illicit drinkers in drug users’ organizations include racism (as discourses around alcohol use are highly racialized), horizontal violence, the extreme marginalization of illicit drinkers, and knowledge gaps around harm reduction for alcohol. Understanding the commonalities between people who use drugs and people who use alcohol, as well as the potential barriers to alliance between them, may facilitate the greater involvement of illicit drinkers in drug users’ organizations and harm reduction services.

Keywords

Illicit drugs Non-beverage alcohol Illicit alcohol Harm reduction Substance use Participatory research Ethnography Drug users’ organizations

Background

Recent years have seen drug users’ organizations, and their allies make substantial progress in advocating for the health and human rights of people who use illicit drugs. Historically, drug users’ organizations (organizations that are led by people who use illicit drugs and that work to improve their lives at individual and systemic levels) have focused their efforts on currently illegal substances, and not prioritized alcohol or the needs of people whose substance of choice is alcohol.

A key theoretical concept in studying the health of people who use illicit substances is structural violence, defined as a cause of suffering that is unnatural and caused by forces external to the individual. The term refers to “historically given (and often economically driven) processes and forces that conspire to constrain individual agency” [1] and lead to an unequal and unjust distribution of suffering. Analysis of instances of structural violence should attend to intersecting oppressions based on gender, ethnicity, class, and other factors but must not lose sight of individual agency in the face of increased risk of suffering within marginalized communities [1, 2].

This paper reports on the results of a participatory needs assessment with drug users1 in British Columbia, Canada, in which an unexpected finding was an opportunity to engage marginalized people who drink alcohol in drug user activism and harm reduction. This paper summarizes the results of the needs assessment for drug users; explores the rationale for greater involvement of illicit drinkers in drug user activism based on shared priorities, shared values, and experiences of polysubstance use; and identifies barriers to drug user organizations becoming more inclusive of illicit drinkers. We use the term illicit drinking use to describe the consumption of non-beverage alcohol (alcohol not meant for human consumption, e.g., mouthwash and rubbing alcohol) and the consumption of beverage alcohol in ways that are highly criminalized (e.g., public drinking by people who are homeless).

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