Friday, 1 February 2008

The Salvos, Weak Minded Junkies, Giuliani & Media

Salvation Army vs Brian Watters

I wrote an email to Salvation Army Major, David Brunt (Senior Chaplain - Adult Services) a while back expressing my amazement that not all Salvation Army members follow the dark, hellbound rhetoric that major Brian Watters adheres to. Here are three quotes from David Blunt that opposes Brian Watters damnation of the proposed ACT heroin trials in the late 1990s.

‘My Sydney colleague, Brian Watters, unfortunately sees addiction - and I'm quoting him from our own publication, The War Cry, last week - as sin. We find that abhorrent and oppose it totally.’

‘When the heroin trial was first mooted, the Salvation Army in Melbourne put together a paper saying we wanted to be part of the evaluation of the trial if it went ahead. Unfortunately Brian became the Prime Minister's main adviser at that stage. And subsequently, some of our issues have become very blurred.’

‘We see addiction as an illness, a health issue. Down here we don't see it as a moral issue. In St Kilda we set up what's now become one of the largest needle and syringe exchanges in this country. It seems a little ironic, when we're running such an exchange, that at the same time our colleagues are talking about moral issues’

David actually answered my email today which was a bit of a surprise. It's people like David who gave the Salvos a good name and it's why Australians had a positive attitude towards them for so long. I am sure some people still don't realise that they are actually a church and not just a charity group. That says a lot considering all the 'Jesus babble' we usually get from churches especially the evangelists. It's a pity the Brian Watters brigade tried to put their self righteous arrogance into the Salvos and they became just another religious group to many who once supported them.

David's response was simple:

Good morning Terry.  Thank you for your kind note, which came as a sense of encouragement to me. I find it strange that the debate on harm minimisation is still going on. Don't give up. 

Kind regards,


'No Will Power' / 'Weak Minded' Not a Valid Argument

For too long, addicts have been branded as piss weak individuals who won't do the hard work and kick their habit. Many experts have argued for years that it defies logic that so many people can't just kick it while some can do itwith  relative ease. The critics would suggest we need to get tougher on these long term addicts because to them it's a matter of self discipline - research is just a cop out for them because good god fearing folks would just grit their teeth and bare it. Everyone's an expert especially the moralists but facts are from scientific research and real experts follow the faith of science. Below is just more evidence that addiction is complex and we need to rethink our drug policy.

Story from the ABC News Website      

There is growing evidence drug addiction can permanently change the brain's chemistry.

A joint investigation by Swiss and Australian scientists has shown the chemicals in drugs can override basic suvival instincts. A Neurobiologist Dr. Chris Dayas says drug addiction can reduce a person's desire to perform basic human functions such as eating. Dr. Dayas says normal behaviour is often replaced by an overwhelming need to take more drugs. New research in to the effect of drugs on the brain is one of the subjects being discussed at a 3 day neuroscience conference in Hobart.

-ABC News

Giuliani is GONE!

Neocon, Rudy Giuliani has finally ended his campaign to be the Republican presidential candidate. After a dismal performance in the Florida primaries, Giuliani, a GW Bush on Viagra, is bowing out before he embarrass himself anymore. He left us with these parting words: 

"During 911, I stood up with my fellow New Yorkers and we defeated the Muslim terrorists. Now as we continue to bomb and kill the terrorists abroad, 911 keeps us focussed on why terrorism is so dangerous. The 911 terrorism experience has taught me that another terror attack like 911 from extremist Muslims is possible and if we forget 911 then another Muslim terrorist cell could cause another 911. 911 was the day terrorism changed us ... 911 was a terror attack that no pre 911 world could imagine. Since 911 and after 911, terrorism remains our biggest threat and unless Muslim extremists and terrorism is stopped, 911 will be a terror type 911 terror that only a 911 non terrorist could imagine. 911 terror and terrorism like 911 is terror Muslim 911 terrorist plot of terrorists Muslims like 911, for example, being mayor terror Muslim 911 or terrorist 911 Muslim threat is 911 terrorist bomb 911 Muslim"

Media Interest

I sent out dozens of emails lately to politicians and the media asking them to answer a simple question. Do they support a heroin trial? Surprisingly I have only received 4 responses. Phillip Adams, Andrew Bartlett, Andrew Bolt and Christian Kerr.

Maybe they just don't care?  I am guessing there are some who don't want to touch such a dirty subject but a more likely reason is that I am just small fry and probably not worth replying to. What really surprised me though was the bloggers who didn't reply. Are they really that busy or important not to answer? Who knows ... maybe it is such a side issue to most people, it's really not worth a reply. Interestingly though, I have collated quite a list of people who have spoken out but they are mostly politicians or lawmakers.

If you are in the media or a blogger or even a polly and you're reading this, c'mon give me an answer ... I need to know.

Who Supports a Heroin Trial?


Gledwood said...

addiction as sin...

Christians say the body is a temple

if so mine is a bloody ruin!!

Gledwood said...

here is my answer I posted to you on mine: it is either at the bottom of the current page or you scroll down, click OLDER and it will be top of the new one

Legalized diamorphine! Yes I used to know somebody who picked up two 30mg (pretty sure they were 30mg not 60mg... 30mg would be a metricated half-grain; 60mg a whole grain; though a grain is actually (if I remember right 68mg).... this was a considerable cut-down from his previous dose.

I asked how he achieved this script (I mean I can vouch I SAW the amps. They were dry amps (bc diamorphine breaks down to morphine eventually in water and morphine is weaker) they said diamorphine 30mg IV/IM/SC when you opened them they made a loud POP noise... with them came glass water amps... both amps looked like stinkbombs

a few years ago methadone amps were pretty widely available from private doctors... they were massively overprescribed. the standard one was 50mg in 1ml. again I can vouch for having seen one (though I tried neither type which makes the junkie in me quite grrrrr-some) it wasn't uncommon for scripts of 6x50mg daily to be doled out.

far as I know amps of both types were about £2-£3 each.

methadone amps corroded the veins pretty badly ... I don't know ANYONE who gets them now, though I do know a clinic that (far as I know) still prescribes them

back to diamorphine:
I know this guy was on heroin since the 1960s... he is the only longterm user I've known to get genuinely clean... he is a great guy. Not rough or arrogant or full of front. Unfortunately he got cancer from Hep C and drink, lost 2/3 of his liver and now looks grey. He is still ill though I'm not meant to know...

the story he told me was that he was originally prescribed injectable methadone but it "disagreed" with his system... bc this was early 70s (I think widespread heroin-prescription stopped in 72 the year I was born) he got this diamorph script...

what gets me is that if I got a proper evaluation they'd see that I was ideal for an injectables script I have NOT been able to stop ever since I started. Not for longer than 1 day off 1 day on.

I just deleted some really gross stuff about injecting old blood I have posted it up if you really want to know I will tell you

few years ago when I had access to a friend's landline phone I went phoning round to find out about getting a diamorphine script

there was one project somewhere in central London but you had to come in every day and inject under supervision... it was already 1 year or more in so no new places

I found the name of one dr who was "licensed to prescribe diamorphine to addicts" but that yielded nothing

yes you are right there are about 350-500 people getting diamorphine for injection in the UK right now

trouble has been a great FIRE in the drug company's warehouse PLUS a worldwide shortage (how ironic!) of pharmaceutical diamorphine... so a couple of years ago many who'd had scripts for years and been stable were shoved on to oral methadone. and of course turned back into street junkies nearly all of them.

in 2007 many times politicians parped on about "prescribing heroin to addicts" if this is ever going to be widespread it will be many years in the future. in fact it's the only thing I see worth saving my groin for..!

I would far rather be clean but cannot see this happening. I have no record, no experience of ever managing to go more than a day or two without...

only way I can see myself cleaning up would be if I had money enough to put self into a cosy posh detox place and then get the hell out of Britain

in my experience when I had money to binge as much as I liked (briefly) i got sick of the drugs.
poverty only keeps the drugs as a perpetual treat when you can get them. I don't do shoplifting or anything like that but at present my life is not moving forward at all

I hope this meandering crap answered most of your points...