The drug war, covered by drug users as war correspondents. Crackdown is a monthly podcast about drugs, drug policy and the drug war led by drug user activists and supported by research. Each episode will tell the story of a community fighting for their lives. It’s also about solutions, justice for those we have lost, and saving lives.
The next episode is delayed a few weeks. In the meantime, here's what we've been up to.
Episode 20: Cut Off
Crackdown is made possible thanks to listener contributions made at https://www.patreon.com/posts/42397641. Thanks for supporting the show!
In 2015, Crackdown editorial board member, Jeff Louden, was on morphine pills for his chronic pain. The medication allowed Jeff to find some stability and avoid Vancouver's increasingly dangerous drug market. But, when Jeff's doctor unexpectedly cut down his medication, he turned to the street to outrun dopesickness.
Five years later, Garth Mullins investigates what happened to Jeff. What can it tell us about North America's so-called "overprescribing crisis?"
Jeff Louden is a member of Crackdown's editorial board and is from the Curve Lake First Nation.
Laura Shaver is a member of Crackdown's editorial board and is the President of the BC Association of People on Methadone.
Christy Sutherland is a family doctor, the medical director at the Portland Hotel Society, and the Physician Lead at the BC Centre on Substance Use [BCCSU].
Helena Hansen is a doctor and Professor and Chair of Translational Social Science and Health Equity at UCLA.
Bryan Quinby is the host of the podcast Street Fight. You can follow Bryan on twitter here.
Stefan Kertesz is a physician and a Professor in preventative medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. You can follow Dr. Kertesz on twitter and listen to his podcast, On Becoming a Healer here.
Dawn Rae Downton is a writer and journalist. You can read her National Post article, "My Year on Death Row," here.
Episode 19: Losing Hope
August 31, 2020.
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, but so what? Who needs to be made aware? Who among us can’t see the corpses piling up from this endless war?
And just when you think things can't get much bleaker, they do.
On today's show Garth interviews Tim Slaney. Tim is a harm reduction worker at the supervised consumption site in Lethbridge, Alberta - one of the busiest in the world. And the government is shutting it down.
Music from the Arches Mic Club featured in this episode:
"Dream Big" by Lonzo, Leland, and Doobyis
"Fully Beaded" by Lonzo, Doobyis, and Buck
"Back at the Start" by Karley B
"Speak These Words" by Lil Branden, Doobyis, Colicchie, and Lonzo
Episode 18: Blue Metal Fence
The first thing that the plague brought to Vancouver was exile.
In March, People vanished. The city looked like a ghost town. But on the Downtown Eastside, the sidewalks were still packed. People still lining up for food. And lining up to get into supervised injection sites. Vancouver’s biggest tent city--Oppenheimer Park-- had never been so full.
A full transcript of this episode will be available for free soon.
Thank you to the Red Braid Alliance for Stewart Squat audio. Thank you to Global News Vancouver and CTV News Vancouver for newscast audio.
The Homeless Idea podcast https://thehomelessidea.ca/
The Right to Remain research project http://www.righttoremain.ca/
Crackdown is produced on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
This month we lost a good friend, warrior and activist - Wade Crawford - from Six Nations. RiP Wade
Our Editorial Board is:
Dave Murray. RiP Dave...and
Chereece Keewatin, RiP Chereece.
Crackdown’s senior producer is Sam Fenn. Our producers are Lisa Hale and Alexander Kim.
Our science advisor is Ryan McNeil. Assistant Professor & Director of Harm Reduction Research at the Yale School of Medicine.
Garth Mullins is our host, writer and executive producer. You can follow him on twitter @garthmullins.
Original score written and performed by Sam Fenn, James Ash and Garth. Our theme song was written by me and Sam with accompaniment from Dave Gens and Ben Appenheimer.
We make this podcast with funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. And from our Patreon supporters.
Stay safe. And keep six.
Episode 17: Class Action
People on methadone in B.C. are suing the government and a pharmaceutical company for decisions which may have contributed to the overdose crisis. Laura Shaver is the lead plaintiff in a new proposed class action lawsuit against British Columbia’s College of Pharmacists, the Ministry of Health, and the pharmaceutical corporation Mallinckrodt. Laura - who is also on Crackdown’s editorial board - may wind up representing all of the province’s methadone users. She’s seeking damages for harms related to the switch from compound methadone to Methadose in 2014.
You can find a transcript for today’s episode here. Crackdown believes that transparency is a cornerstone of journalism. For that reason, we have made our transcripts as detailed as possible, with footnotes sourcing how and where we have found our information. We also highlight the sections of our episodes that contain analysis, opinion or advocacy.
Crackdown is produced on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.Our Editorial Board is: Samona Marsh, Shelda Kastor, Greg Fess, Jeff Louden, Dean Wilson, Al Fowler, and Laura Shaver. Rest in Peace Dave Murray and Chereece Keewatin.
Crackdown’s senior producer is Sam Fenn. Our producers are Lisa Hale and Alexander Kim. Our science advisor is Ryan McNeil, Assistant Professor & Director of Harm Reduction Research at the Yale School of Medicine.
Today’s episode was fact-checked by Polly Leger.Garth Mullins is Crackdown’s host, writer and executive producer. You can follow Garth on twitter @garthmullins.Original score written and performed by Sam Fenn, James Ash and Garth Mullins. Our theme song was written by Garth and Sam with accompaniment from Dave Gens and Ben Appenheimer.
Crackdown is produced with funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and our Patreon supporters.
Episode 16: Goodbye Dave
We were working on an episode about the housing crisis during the pandemic. But a couple weeks ago, Crackdown lost another member of our editorial board: Dave Murray.
We can’t all get together to mourn him right now, to remember him and tell stories. Like we did with Chereece last year. I know we’ll get to it eventually, when the quarantine lifts, but until then, we’ll do it here.
Dave Murray was a veteran drug user activist. He was a mentor to the next generation of organizers like me. He’s pretty much the reason why there is a prescription heroin program in Vancouver today. And he was our friend.
Dave was an intellectual - wIth taped up glasses and newspaper tucked under his arm. But he was also bold as hell.
He helped us launch this podcast. In fact, Dave was there before we even had a name. He was a soft-spoken guy, and he made sure Crackdown got off on the right foot.
Safe journey home, Dave. Take care, buddy.
Crackdown is produced on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Our Editorial Board is: Samona MarshShelda KastorGreg FessJeff LoudenDean WilsonAl FowlerLaura Shaver
Chereece Keewatin, RiP Chereece...and
Dave Murray. Good-bye Dave.
You can read obituaries by Travis Lupick and also by Guy Felicella, Dean Wilson and Matt Bonn.
Ann Livingston has created a Facebook page with lots of Dave’s speeches
Thanks to Gordon Katic and Travis Lupick for tape of Dave gathered in 2017 for a documentary called The Heroin Clinic.
All the links are on our webpage.
You can support us at Patreon.com/crackdownpod