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Dead Wild Roses: Addiction – Now with Animation.

Here at DWR we’ve already talked about how our theories about addiction are quite flawed. However, this is such an important topic that we’ll cover it again, but now in an animated format that is quite appealing and easy to understand.   Many social problems can be addressed by ‘changing the cage’, however, recognizing that […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Addiction – Now with Animation.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Working in the Homeless-Serving Sector

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve reviewed an excellent new book written by Professor Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff. The book is written for people who do ‘front line’ work with homeless persons. The link to the English version of my review is here, while the link to the French version of […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Working in the Homeless-Serving Sector

Things Are Good: Rethinking Addiction

Johann Hari wanted to find out why people get addicted to drugs and ended up making some startling conclusions. Yet, not surprisingly, all the war on drugs policies countries have implemented have only increased the addiction problem. Addiction is more complex to solve than just hurting the people who use drugs.

What really causes . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Rethinking Addiction

The Progressive Economics Forum: Pot: Decriminalize or Legalize?

On the campaign trail, Prime Minister Harper repeated assertions that relaxing pot laws will lead to terrible, horrible things: ““When you go down that route, marijuana becomes more readily available to children, more people become addicted to it and the health outcomes become worse.” The Conservative response is to escalate the “war on drugs,” even . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Pot: Decriminalize or Legalize?

Dead Wild Roses: The Opposite of Addiction is Connection

Recently I posted a quote from John Hari on addiction. See it here. I’ve also updated the post to include the video below as well. What is detailed in this TED talk is idea that we should punish and isolate addicts from society. This idea, according to Hari is about 100 years old and also, . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Opposite of Addiction is Connection

The Progressive Economics Forum: Response to Johann Hari’s TED Talk on Addiction

This is a guest blog post from Doug Chaudron:

British journalist Johann Hari recently gave a TED talk, provocatively titled “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.” See the 15-minute talk, and find Hari’s biography, at http://tinyurl.com/o5kp779.

Some key points made by Mr. Hari in his talk include these: Current approaches to . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Response to Johann Hari’s TED Talk on Addiction

Dead Wild Roses: John Hari on Addiction – Isolating Addicts is not the Answer

This is taken from the interview titled: Does Capitalism Cause Drug Addiction? The piece that I am going to excerpt is about how we view addiction in society. If we are to believe Hari, it isn’t about a failure in moral rectitude or falling into a drug laden trap of compulsion; but rather it is . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: John Hari on Addiction – Isolating Addicts is not the Answer

Things Are Good: Curiosity (and art) is Addictive

A new theory based on some old research is that our drive to figure things out can be as addictive as doing drugs. If you’ve ever had to deal with a complex problem and found the solution you know that particular feeling of success.

it turns out that our brains react to learning new things . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Curiosity (and art) is Addictive

Dead Wild Roses: Trauma, Stress, Addiction – Gabor Maté

Reading Mate’s book called In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. I’ve been unable to put this book down as his research and insight into addictions and associated behaviours dovetails snugly with the clientele I work with most days. Here is a brief excerpt from the chapter titled Trauma, Stress and the Biology of Addiction.

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Trauma, Stress, Addiction – Gabor Maté

Bill Longstaff: Evidence for Democracy

Our current federal government’s aversion to facts is now, unfortunately, well-established as a fact itself. Examples are legion, but I will just mention one.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose has assured Canadians that her government is a firm believer in science-based policy. Unfortunately, in a recent CBC interview she went about proving herself wrong. On the . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Evidence for Democracy

Things Are Good: Addiction Therapy Applied to Car Use

It’s no secret that as a global society we are addicted to automobile use. It’s also no secret that cars are literally killing us (just starting the engine causes harm) and the way we have built cities to cater to drivers has damaged society from our health to our social well-being. But just knowing these . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Addiction Therapy Applied to Car Use

The Disaffected Lib: The Cult of Living Large

2015, we’re told, is the year the developed world (that’s us) and the emerging economies (China, India, etc., etc., etc.) will close ranks to formulate an effective plan of action to fight climate change.  It’s going to be Kyoto on steroids, a true hallelujah moment, a meeting of minds, a global joining of hands, . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Cult of Living Large

Progressive Proselytizing: The Morality of Online Poker

For years, I have engaged in a rather profitable side hobby: online poker. Poker is a fascinating game with layers upon layers of complexity, and I love the challenge, the excitement, and the competition of it. It is also very profitable, even for someone like me who doesn’t intend to move beyond small stakes. . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: The Morality of Online Poker

Melissa Fong: Amsterdam’s solution: Paying alcoholics in BEER

I’m not gonna lie… sometimes cleaning is better when drunk. Like, if you’re going to engage in something that you will hardly remember the next day- why not cleaning? Yes, […]

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Conservatives: Punish, Punish, Punish

Canada’s Harper Government once again revealed the ugly side of its views this past week.

First up, we have the Harper Government axing the pittance that inmates are paid for their labour while in prison.

The government began deducting the money from prisoners’ paycheques as part of a move to recover costs under the federal government’s Deficit Reduction . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Conservatives: Punish, Punish, Punish

Things Are Good: 15-Year Study: Stop Drug Use Through Harm Reduction

The American style “war on drugs” undoubtably ruins more lives than it saves (all while militarizing North American police forces), yet some people think that punishing drug users is sound policy. Research is continually adding more evidence that approaching drug consumption as a health issue and not a criminal one improves the lives of users . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: 15-Year Study: Stop Drug Use Through Harm Reduction

knitnut.net: When words turn bad

The other day I was on a conference call and we were discussing which tags and keywords should be included in a collaborative online database.

The terms “substance use” and “harm reduction” were both on the list. I suggested we add “addiction.”

Some other people on the call said that we don’t use . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: When words turn bad

knitnut.net: Seamy Underbelly, Part II

Visiting the Downtown Eastside (DTES) has churned up some contradictions for me, and resolving those contradictions requires re-thinking some questions I thought I already knew the answers to:

1) To what extent do people choose to live in the DTES, and to what extent are they stuck there?

2) Does the DTES community strengthen . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Seamy Underbelly, Part II

knitnut.net: My visit to the seamy underbelly

At the harbour, outside my hotel

So…I went to Vancouver for a whirlwind business trip. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and left Friday morning. I was working most of the time, but I did have two more-or-less free evenings, so I did what I could to cram Vancouver in.

I hadn’t been there in . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: My visit to the seamy underbelly

knitnut.net: The lowdown on substance use

Last night I attended a free session at our local mental health facility. It was called Getting the Low Down on Substance Use, and was presented by Michael Coughlin, a registered nurse with the Royal’s Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders program.

I was interested because I have a young friend who uses heroin. He . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: The lowdown on substance use

Canadian Progressive World: Canada’s Shame: Acclaimed Inuit Artist Pregnant And Homeless In Ottawa

“We CAN look after each other better than we do today” and “Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity.” – the late NDP Leader, Jack Layton

Emotional by nature, I am. Very. But this is . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: Canada’s Shame: Acclaimed Inuit Artist Pregnant And Homeless In Ottawa

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Dr. Tundra admits he has a problem

Once again, Dr. Tundra woke with a splitting headache, the feeling that he’d fallen asleep with a mouthful of half-masticated rat, and a pain in his lower back that could only be called apocalyptic. He opened his eyes; it felt … Continue reading →

. . . → Read More: mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Dr. Tundra admits he has a problem

knitnut.net: Safe injection sites: Treating people with addictions like they matter

Last October, the Supreme Court ruled that Insite, Vancouver’s safe injection site, could stay open despite the Harper Government’s objections. The arguments hinged on whether addiction was primarily a health issue or a crime issue. If it were a health matter it would fall under provincial jurisdiction; if it were a criminal code issue, . . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Safe injection sites: Treating people with addictions like they matter

350 or bust: Just Say No – It’s Time For Canada To Wean Itself Off Its Addiction to Tar Sands Crude

This hour protestors are gathering on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, to show their opposition to the Alberta tar sands, and specifically the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that could be built from Alberta across the U.S. to carry tar sands bitumen to Texas … . . . → Read More: 350 or bust: Just Say No – It’s Time For Canada To Wean Itself Off Its Addiction to Tar Sands Crude

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

“Action is the antidote for despair.” ~ Joan Baez Monday, September 26, 2001: Ottawa Tar Sands Action There comes a time when you need to take a stand. When sending letters and signing petitions isn’t enough. When together we must say… . . . → Read More: 350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit