Monday, July 22, 2013

My Morning Ride.


Was a little slow with my dead tree division news-reading on the weekend.

So I didn't get to an interesting page A11 NYT story by Katharine Seeleye from Friday until early this morning during that super quiet time between waking and hopping in the shower.

Below is Ms. Seeleye's lede which, I think, you will agree is pretty much the exact opposite of a certain diatribe printed in the Calgary Herald late last week (i.e. it is detailed, well researched and it is actually based on something that is not just made up from, essentially, nothing):

PORTLAND, Maine — Heroin, which has long flourished in the nation's big urban centers, has been making an alarming comeback in the smaller cities and towns of New England.

From quaint fishing villages on the Maine coast to the interior of the Great North Woods extending across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, officials report a sharp rise in the availability of the crystalline powder and in overdoses and deaths attributed to it. "It's easier to get heroin in some of these places than it is to get a UPS delivery," said Dr. Mark Publicker, an addiction specialist here.

Here in Portland, better known for its laid-back vibe and lively waterfront, posters warn of the dangers of overdose. "Please," they say: "Do Not Use Alone. Do a Tester Shot" and "Use the Recovery Position" (which is lying on one's side to avoid choking on vomit).

The city, like many others across the country, is experiencing "an inordinate number of heroin overdoses," said Vern Malloch, assistant chief of the Portland Police Department. "We've got overdose deaths in the bathrooms of fast-food restaurants. This is an increase like we haven't seen in many years."

Heroin killed 21 people in Maine last year, three times as many as in 2011, according to the state's Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. New Hampshire recorded 40 deaths from heroin overdoses last year, up from just seven a decade ago. In Vermont, the Health Department reported that 914 people were treated for heroin abuse last year, up from 654 the year before, an increase of almost 40 percent.

"Heroin is our biggest problem right now," said Capt. Scott Tucker of the Rutland, Vt., police.

One reason for the rise in heroin use is the restrictions on doctors in prescribing painkillers. The tightened supply of pain pills, and physical changes that made them harder to crush and snort for a quick high, have diverted many users to heroin, which is much cheaper and easier to get. Publicker, president of the Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine, said some doctors in the region had been overprescribing painkillers, which can be gateway drugs to heroin. A federal study in 2011 showed that the treatment admission rate for opiate addiction was higher in Maine, and New England, than elsewhere in the country, though communities everywhere are reporting problems.

"We had a bad epidemic, and now we have a worse epidemic," Publicker said. "I'm treating 21-, 22-year-old pregnant women with intravenous heroin addiction." ...


Usually when I'm riding my bike to work in the morning I try to use the time, and the rhythm of the peddling, to move my mind into the geek realm.

As such, when I get to the hill shown above (I favour the straight, short shot up 12th avenue between Alma and Wallace rather than the long, slow incline of the bike route along 7th) I'm usually thinking reasonably hard about crazy stuff like integrin activation states and mechanotransduction through adherens junctions.

But not this morning.

Instead, I was thinking about long game strategies that are used by the architects of that which is killing civil discourse in this country (a.k.a. 'The Politics Of Destruction').

And I've come to the conclusion that the 2015 playbook just may include a Hail Mary against In-Site specifically and harm reduction more generally.


Just to be clear it's not just the codswallop on the CHerald's editorial page that's got me thinking that.

Because misdirection like that is only designed to freeze the base in place.

Instead, what has me really wondering is the fact that the 'peer review' forces in the backfield appear to be going in motion once agin in an attempt to move the free safeties (i.e. the swing voters) over to the 'strong' side.

I'll have more to say about the specifics of that later.

But, in the meantime, you may want to have a quick look at a primer on the ladder of peer review, particularly as it pertains to the 'Harm Reduction Haters' Club', here.


If you want to hear the author of the diatribe/codswallop taken to task for having, essentially, nothing to go on, have a listen to an excellent, no-holds-barred interview from NW's Simi Paterson has another



Anonymous said...

RossK said...



(and it looks like it has been taped up in a special place, somewhere...)