Confronting the Stigma of Drug Addiction
"I Am Not Your Enemy"
The War on Drugs (People) has been a colossal catastrophic failure. In the year 2019, nothing original or educational about that observation. In fact, the statement is used so often it now qualifies as a legitimate maxim.
Yet governments, court systems and organizations around the world still fail to solve even the basic fundamentals. And as a consequence, the carnage and immorality of human suffering is staggering, escalating and facilitating. Facilitating annual economic burdens which can no longer be sustained by any society.
In Mexico 33,000 murders took place in 2018 the majority as a consequence of the War on Drugs (People), 99% of which, will never be prosecuted.
In the Philippines the leader of their country encourages his citizens to rid the society of drug pushers and users with impunity, leading to unfathomable crimes against humanity.
In Canada meanwhile, we have 11 overdoses a day from opioid substance use and the handling of the Paul J James matter. In the United States they endure 77,000 drug related deaths a year.
Just the tip of the inhumane iceberg in these countries alone.
Drug Addiction (Substance Disability) is an ongoing international health and social crisis in desperate need of serious rational attention, truthful moral bipartisan politics and a social rethink. The implications of not getting things right once and for all, will be an economic, political and social catastrophe beyond what it already is. And considering where most societies are today, that itself, is a disturbing thought.
Read Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari for assistance.
While stigmatized in areas and over simplified in others - use and overuse of the word "addict" and "we have it all wrong" a slight exaggeration - it is still a brilliant read which puts into context how the globe got into such a mess in the first place. For the lay person on substance dependence it is a riveting synopsis of a man made social phenomena.
Encapsulated also, are brave people around the world fighting back against the oppression, abusive treatment, discrimination, loss of life and criminalization of their lives and circumstances - all devastating stigmatized consequences of the War On People.
With no intention or desire to get caught up in this fight back, against the "War on People", my dire stigmatized circumstances and personality nevertheless led me there.
Walking the streets of Toronto in early January 2017 contemplating tactics and strategy to continue the fight for social justice - Confronting the Stigma of Drug Addiction - was hatched. After 6 years of hell on earth through the corrupt, colluded Canadian Judiciary, and the shocking immorality of York University and Canada Soccer, there was no other option. With conviction and commitment to risk health and life through hunger strike protests, the worse period of this hell on earth, decade long nightmare, began.
While it was a learn as you go experience which I thought would last a month, three months tops, here I am two years, ten hunger strikes, and over a thousand pages of writing later, still at it.
Confronting every scapegoating, stigmatizing, criminalized, manipulative, cheating, humiliating, defaming, slanderous word and trick - most while I was not eating - can facetiously be summed up by the words of Vinny Jones from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, "It's been emotional".
In reality, it's been fucking painful. Physically and psychologically.
Psychologically more so because confronting is the antithesis by which Canadians like to live and operate. We are not comfortable with being told when we are deficient or wrong. Especially, if receiving egos are particularly out of control or you have discriminated or treated someone very badly. No one wants to admit it or accept responsibility. It's let's say - a Canadian weakness. We are so nice we're actually not.
Canadians apparently don't like to be labelled either. More specifically when confronted as cowards, deceitful, evil, weak and spoiled. On the Richter scale of impactful words however, they just can't compete with the epithets addict, mentally sick, crackhead, junkie, scumbag, et al.
So, to those oppressors and stigmatizers. Labeling you back in return is an antidote to remind you of your offences. On a macro level the tactic also identifies, we need a better, more rational, composed, truthful, compassionate way of living with persons with substance disabilities and the substances themselves. Of which by the way, alcohol is the worst of all drugs. But don't take my word for it. Do your research. When taking the collective social and individual negative consequences into account, the drug we don't even refer to as a drug, is the most destructive by a country mile. Euphemistically and conveniently, we simply reference Alcohol.
After the eight year system of deceitful control and discrimination using the Jane Elliot combating racism methodology, was the only realistic option available to me, to legitimately continue to fight for social justice. Combined with using visible public hunger strike protests, it was a progressive way forward.
Suffering from the consequences of not eating is one thing. Sleeping outside as a homeless person is another. Confronting people directly - for example calling Bob Rae, Adam Vaughan evil or the Prime Minister a coward - has been just as difficult and painful. I am not a psychopath nor sociopath and so it emotionally affects me.
Nevertheless, it had to be done as shock treatment to reality and truthfulness of the appalling, ongoing injustice. Without truthfulness on the issues of stigma and discrimination of substance disability and then knowing what to do with it, we can't get to square two of improvement.
Hopefully the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau is not a coward as a person or leader. What ever the case he has been cowardly dealing with the PJJ circumstance. There just had to be a better, more humane, truthful way. Same with Bob Rae. Adam Vaughan. They perhaps are not evil or psychopathic by nature but in their handling of the Paul James circumstance they undoubtedly have been brutal and inhumane. If they "truthfully understood" the subject matter then they would understand the appalling consequences of their deliberate enabling of further delayed justice. They should expect to receive severe wrath as a consequence of their approach and not lament or scapegoat that truth or the human frailties which led them to make the decisions they made.
Reality is, much social suffering has been delivered as a consequence of the Paul J James matter. I have deposited my contributions to the point I have nothing and it will severely limit my life span. But many others have also. Ashley Kelly. My family. PJJ supporters.
Counter-intuitively, some non-psychopathic oppressors have suffered also. A few persons at York University: Perhaps, Maureen Armstrong, Jenn Myers, Sheila Foreshaw, Harriet Lewis, Lorna Marsden, Bree Carr-Harris, Carmine Isacco. Perhaps Mary Orsmby at the the Toronto Star; Lisa Constantine former York Legal Counsel. While they won't easily admit to it, in their quiet moments they would have suffered as a consequence of the transparency and pain of my confronting the injustices, their contributions and the consequential unrelenting oppression it has caused. A nagging conscience, frustration, shock, regret, guilt, anxiety, denial.
Social Change is a collective phenomena, the ugly, the bad and good.
Thing is, even though PJJ trumps all oppressors "suffering", by an almighty chasm, in some warped but interesting way, when justice is finally delivered - I will likely not be around to see it - the contributors to making the world a better place on both sides of the fight, will be many.
And you can thank Confronting The Stigma Of Drug Addiction for unearthing your contribution, whether through temporary/permanent immorality and evilness or pure unconditioned, humanistic goodness.
Finally, just in case you're thinking I'm anti-Liberal, a note to Andrew Scheer and the Canadian Conservatives. You are next up to the plate of truthful wrath. Over the years and decades you have worked so diligently and resolutely at the War on People you are overdue warranted significant rebuke and war crime tribunals for your unspeakable ideologies.
You have much to answer for, starting with, how is it not one Conservative MP has reached out to investigate the Paul J James matter. Instead, in 2017 as I'm sitting on a couch emaciated on a YouTube Video, you elect through Twitter to communicate how dreadful drug addiction is and we need to get into every office and organization around the country to figure out what's going on and what to do about it. How do you justify that when you knew about my circumstances? Labeling you and your colleagues as psychologically sick on this particular subject matter, is far too weak a label.
Paul J James