Harm Reduction Advocates Target Addicts And Critics

On the heels of
yet another study
which found that supervised injection sites encourage patrons to seek treatment, the Drug Prevention Network of Canada, an organization funded by the Drug Free America Foundation, whose mission is, among other things, “To advocate no use of illegal drugs and no abuse of legal drugs” and “To oppose legalization of drugs” is complaining to sympathetic media that they are being bullied by harm reduction advocates.

Specifically, the DPNOC’s “Director of Research,” Colin Mangham is upset that his reputation is being damaged by a lawsuit filed against him for “publishing” lies and distortions about InSite, Vancouver’s supervised injection facility, and harm reduction in general, in an online “journal” owned by the DFAF.

I am reminded of Ben Stein’s move “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” in which Stein whined that proponents of “intelligent design” and critics of evolution are being discriminated against in colleges, universities and anywhere else empirical evidence and the scientific method are still respected. At least we know we have them on the back foot for a change.

Supervised injection site epitomizes warped philosophy in Downtown Eastside

By Mark Hasiuk, Vancouver Courier September 15, 2010


“The best thing you can say about harm reduction advocates is that they are reductionists–they are reducing a complex human problem to a simple thing,” said David Berner, the newly appointed executive director of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada, an abstinence-based organization (soon-to-be headquartered in Vancouver) founded by former Conservative MP Randy White. “We need to get money and human energy back into prevention, education and treatment.”


But criticizing Insite can come with a price. In the high stakes world of harm reduction, where government grants provide vital lifeblood, reputations are brutally defended. Critics targeted and bullied.

Just ask Colin Mangham.

Last September, the Portland Hotel Society, co-operators of Insite, slapped a defamation and slander lawsuit on Mangham, a 60-year-old research scientist and addictions expert whose 2007 RCMP-funded report published in the Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice questioned the findings of Insite researchers. “Statements made about improving public order, saving lives and getting people into detox are misleading and based on data that just isn’t there,” said Mangham, during a recent phone interview from his home in Langley.


Where are the transitional fossils? The evidence for common ancestry and decent with modification just isn’t there.

Ten years in, Vancouver’s great harm reduction experiment keeps rolling along, leaving rows of victims in its wake. Addicts get sicker, critics assailed, while an entire neighbourhood rots from the inside out.

Wonder if this is what Philip Owen had in mind?