Aesir, Asatru, Drugs, Faith, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

War on Drugs: Victory Conditions

The War on Drugs:
This phrase is used a lot, and the people using it would usually require a diaper change should they ever experience the real thing, but for those of us who know the war they speak of so fondly a little better, the war on drugs makes us stop and ask a few key questions.

I was found by Odin back in basic training, but let me tell you the title that explains why Odin was revered by the folk was Victory Father, not so much Battle Glad, or Feeder of Ravens.  Victory is the goal, the passions that carry us through war, and the cost of waging it are part of who he is, and we must accept the whole package or we had best not call for him at all, but when we do call him, it is for Victory.

Odin Face
Drugs: are not the enemy.  No heroin or alcohol has ever attacked someone in a dark ally.  No cocaine has ever picked off school children crossing the road, or blown up a building.    Drugs are weapons, and the casualties are our citizens.  You know who I am talking about.  If the casualties of the gun and the bomb are known by the bullet wounds and shrapnel, then the casualties of the drug war are the drug addicts, those who were our children, our siblings, or sometimes our parents.  These are the victims.

We live in a capitalist society, and we understand the power of the consumer.  If there is a market for something, it will be supplied.  If there is a large market for something, there will be a huge amount of profit in its supply, and to defend this revenue source, all manner of casualties will flow from battling over this revenue stream.  As long as there is demand, there will be supply.  This is the truth of capitalism.

 

The flow of drugs, and the number of casualties are the two things that we, as a society, use our energy and resources to limit.  Law enforcement and border security forces do their bit to reduce the flow, but even they will tell you they cannot stop it; the KGB with the largest security force in the world, totally willing to remove even the pretense of freedom, could not stop it.

 

The demand for drugs, and the amount of people we lose to them remain the stakes on the table, remain where we will either know, or give up, Victory.

70. It is better to live | than to lie a corpse,

The live man catches the cow;

I saw flames rise | for the rich man’s pyre,

And before his door he lay dead.

 

  1. The lame rides a horse, | the handless is herdsman,

The deaf in battle is bold;

The blind man is better | than one that is burned,

No good can come of a corpse.

 

Drug addiction destroys people, I don’t care if it is alcohol, or illegal drugs, those who abuse substances destroy their own lives, and damage all of those around them.  Each and every drug addict is a casualty in this war, and we have to decide right now if we want to be Heathen about it, and do the hard things required to win this war, or do we want to be Christian about it and make grand useless gestures and preach perfect world ideologies while our children die in the streets.

Guess which one I pick.

Vancouver pioneered Insite, supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users in downtown Vancouver.  This was backed by our former Chief Coroner and the Health Region as a loss reduction strategy.  I was against it.  I will admit this.  I was against the program

 

My daughter Caitlyn works in a coffee shop on graveyard shifts here in town, and is the trained first aider in her workplace.  At sixteen years of age, she had dealt with over half a dozen near fatal overdoses at her work place, and I have even dealt with one discovered in a bathroom at her school when we were there for a band concert after hours.

Bathroom addict

IV drug use right now leaves dirty needles in school grounds, shared dirty needles between users, and spreads diseases that are not just temporary, but life long burdens that will haunt those poor folk even if they did beat their addiction.  Those who are working in the sex trade, will be an increased public health risk to everyone as I am just not convinced those who use street prostitutes are being sexually responsible in informing their wives or partners that they stopped off in a back alley for a tryst at lunch time with an IV drug user.  It is not just those who choose to take chances that get hurt.

 

Addicts are all losses in the middle of happening, but not all of those losses have to continue to become permanent casualties.  The true Victory condition is not just stopping people from becoming addicts, it is about reclaiming those who are addicts, and giving them a chance to return to society.

 

Insite is doing that.

Marc Townsend,Insite

Marc Townsend, manager of the Portland Hotel Society, enters Insite, Canada’s only safe injection site for intravenous drug addicts in Vancouver, Tuesday, October 2, 2007. The society along with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority operates the site which was given a six-month operating extension by the federal government Tuesday. Richard Lam/CP

 

InSite reported 778 non-fatal illicit drug-related overdose events and no deaths for the period

2004-2010.

 

They are saving lives, those who overdose on site are not lost.  No good can come of a corpse, as the ancestors used to say.

 

A retrospective population based study. Published in the Lancet, April 2011. This study found that fatal overdoses within 500 metres of Insite decreased by 35% after the facility opened compared to a decrease of 9% in the rest of Vancouver.

 

(http://supervisedinjection.vch.ca/research/research )

 

One third fewer deaths……..that speaks to a strategy that is having real, lasting effect.

Insite Injection interior

 

Alcohol was the primary substance involved in non-fatal overdose events among high

risk populations surveyed in Victoria and Vancouver.

  • Multiple substances were involved in 50-60% of overdose events among these populations.
  • At InSite, 589 (76%) of overdoses reported involved heroin and, of these, 224 (29%)

involved naloxone administration, an opiate antagonists.

 

(http://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/carbc/assets/docs/bulletin8-overdose-events-in-bc.pdf )

 

As the research shows, even were we to rid ourselves of every imported drug, those at risk of addiction would continue to fall to alcohol or other either legally available drugs, or those that can be grown or harvested locally.  You cannot keep people from “feeding their head” through closing your borders, unless you live on the moon.  You can keep the numbers dying or suffering permanent harm down.

 

What about Victory, what about actually saving lives, as opposed to just moving back the date of the inevitable conclusion of persistent self-harm?  Well, lets look at how the program actually did.

 

 

4,564 referrals to other social and health services

 

488 discharges from Onsite detox (Insite refers clients who wish to their associated detox program Onsite)

Insite counsellors make thousands of referrals to other social and health service agencies, the vast majority of which are for detox and addiction treatment. The calendar year 2012 saw more than 400 admissions from Insite into Onsite, the adjoining detox treatment facility, which recorded a program completion rate of 49%.

 

Just under half.  That is what loss reduction looks like.  That is an acceptable result from any triage situation.  Any first responder understands when the scope of the problem is too vast for the resources you have at hand, you perform triage to save as many of the ones as you can.  There will be losses, as you simply do not have the resources to save them all; but properly applied, the resources you have can save many.

This is Heathen thinking, accept reality for what it is, and do your best with the resources you actually have to save as many as you can.  Victory has never, and will never be without cost, but when we lose sight of the victory conditions; saving our own citizens, we will have lost the war, out of stubborn desire to continue to fight with weapons we are comfortable with, like guns, prison, and court, rather than weapons that can actually win, like Insite safe injection sites.

Police, courts, healthcare are all important parts of the battle, but turning our back on the proven record of Insite for reducting the casualties of this war on drugs is the same things as turning away from victory out of unwillingness to do anything but continue the battle you are comfortable with.

 

We like to use the phrase “War on Drugs” but too many using the phrase think that victory will be achieved by armoured tac-teams kicking in doors, and police force increasingly looking like poorly trained imitation military carrying out war on our streets, largely against our own citizens.  This is what war looks like; civil war in which the only winners are the ravens who grow fat on the corpses of our own folk.  Ask Syria how much fun that is.

War on Drugs

If we are going to treat this as a War on Drugs, then listen to the Victory Father, listen to the Wise Counsellor; Odin is the master of war because he never loses sight of the goal, and never, ever forgets he is striving towards the Victory conditions.  Let others fight because they love to fight, Odin fights for victory, and in this war, victory is the lives of our citizens saved, and as many reclaimed from addiction and returned to our hearths and off our streets.

 

  1. The lame rides a horse, | the handless is herdsman,

The deaf in battle is bold;

The blind man is better | than one that is burned,

No good can come of a corpse.

 

If they aren’t dead, they are not yet lost.  Let us choose to take up the tools like Insite, that can bring us closer to victory, and save as many as possible.  We, as a society have grown addicted to the tools of violence and coercion as  our weapons of choice.  They are good weapons, but when did they become our only ones?  We may not like the tools necessary to win, but given the choice between familiar tools, or victory, which do you choose?
John T Mainer
 

 

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One thought on “War on Drugs: Victory Conditions

  1. Yeah. Plus the War on Drugs creates the perfect climate for cartels and gangs to cause trouble. Just think about the Prohibition- the Mafia got big selling alcohol, but now that alcohol is legal and taxed, the businesses distributing it have to be aboveboard and nonviolent. That and no one dies from drinking fake beer. Kids kill themselves every year trying to get high on weird stuff, or on rat poison sold as coke, or research chems sold as LSD, etc. Legalization and taxation would pay for rehab programs and force the drug market into the open, where it would have to abide by the law.

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