20 episodes

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.

Crackdown Cited Media

    • News
    • 4.9, 544 Ratings

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.

    Episode 17: Class Action

    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. 
     
    Credits
    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. 

    • 23 min
    Episode 16: Goodbye Dave

    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

    • 32 min
    Episode 15: Apocalypse Prescribing

    Episode 15: Apocalypse Prescribing

    The government has finally agreed to provide us with a safe, medical alternative to black market drugs. On Episode 15, we dig deep into the new policy and tell the story of advocacy that made this possible.
    WORKS CITED 
    BC Centre for Disease Control: Harm reduction information for people who use substances in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
    BC Centre for Disease Control: Weekly overdose data, March 22-March 28, 2020
    Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs. Safe Supply Concept Document. February 2019
    CBC News: B.C. releases plan to provide safe supply of drugs during COVID-19 pandemic. March 26, 2020
    Coronavirus Is Leading to Shortages of Fentanyl And Meth. Deborah Bonello. Vice.com. March 19, 2020 
    COVID-19: Open letter from DTES frontline workers to Horgan, Dix, Henry, Daly, Stewart, and Darcy—we need more, now. By Concerned registered nurses and frontline workers of the DTES. Georgia Straight, March 31, 2020.
    Fleming, T., Barker, A., Ivsins, A. et al. Stimulant safe supply: a potential opportunity to respond to the overdose epidemic. Harm Reduct J 17, 6 (2020). 
    CREDITS
    Crackdown is produced on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.Our Editorial Board is:Samona MarshShelda KastorGreg FessJeff LoudenDean WilsonDave MurrayAl FowlerLaura ShaverRIP Chereece Keewatin.
    Crackdown’s senior producer is Sam Fenn. Our producers are Lisa Hale and Alexander Kim. With help from Polly Leger.
    Our science advisor is Ryan McNeil. Assistant Professor & Director of Harm Reduction Research in the Yale School of Medicine.Garth Mullins is Crackdown’s host, writer and executive producer. You can follow him on twitter @garthmullins.Original score written and performed by Sam Fenn, James Ash, Kai Paulson and Garth Mullins. Our theme song was written by Garth 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 you, our Patreon supporters. 
    Stay safe. Keep six.

    • 53 min
    Episode 14: Emergency Measures

    Episode 14: Emergency Measures

    Governments are taking drastic measures to try to slow down the spread of #COVID-19 - declaring emergencies, shutting down businesses and sealing borders.  But what about drug users? We have been facing a deadly public health emergency for years, with no drastic measures taken. Will they forget us again this time? 
    Since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in British Columbia, around 150 people have died from a contaminated drug supply. Four people have died from COVID-19. Now we face both crises at once. 
    Many drug users in our community are middle aged. And the life can really put years on you. Many of us have COPD or are immunocompromised. The pandemic could cut through us like a scythe.

    • 52 min
    Episode 13: Someone Else's Problem

    Episode 13: Someone Else's Problem

    https://www.patreon.com/posts/34599640
    Crackdown is produced on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.Our Editorial Board is:Samona MarshShelda KastorGreg FessJeff LoudenDean WilsonDave MurrayAl FowlerLaura ShaverAnd Chereece Keewatin. It’s been just over a year since we lost you. RiP Chereece. 
    Crackdown’s senior producer is Sam Fenn. Our producers are Lisa Hale and Alexander Kim. This month we had production help from Alex de Boer and Polly Leger.
    Our science advisor is Ryan McNeil. Assistant Professor & Director of Harm Reduction Research in the Yale School of Medicine.Garth Mullins is Crackdown’s host, writer and executive producer. You can follow him 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.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 you, our Patreon supporters.

    • 48 min
    Episode 12: Love in a State of Emergency

    Episode 12: Love in a State of Emergency

    You can't understand Canada's overdose crisis without knowing the truth about this country -  and that’s the story of colonization: a centuries-long effort to steal land and erase Indigenous peoples.
    In April 2019, Garth and Thunder Bay podcast creator Ryan McMahon were chatting on the phone. Ryan said that some Indigenous communities are reticent about harm reduction and that Crackdown should look at that.
    We've been talking about making this episode since our first editorial board meeting in 2018, when Chereece Keewatin, Shelda Kastor and Jeff Louden talked about how the overdose crisis affects them as Indigenous people. Since then Chereece died - and we blame racist drug war policies for that.
    Shelda guided the work on this episode, mapping the connections between abstinence programs, the Red Road and Indigenous approaches harm reduction.
    A full transcript of this episode will be available in a few days.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
544 Ratings

544 Ratings

comrade1312 ,

Finally! Hearing from the community ACTUALLY devastated by the overdose crisis

I have listened to so many overdose crisis podcasts, most focus on the person before the drugs and how they got there. FINALLY! A podcast covering the actual issues, not the stories of “lost” ppl. I have learned so much and am forever thankful for it.
In solidarity ✊

z.pie. ,

We create empathy by telling stories

I having lived for 10 years in the DTES, I watched the opioid epidemic take it’s grip over the community. I myself am not a user and ended up in the DTES very accidentally, from Alberta.
I wanted to better understand the challenges the people that made up the fabric of the community were experiencing. Garth and his team really helped me learn more about the challenges drug users face. It makes absolutely no sense to me that a person can get surgery and be prescribed opioids but an addicted person must suffer. The way in which we allow governments to treat people is appalling. Addicts that can afford to feed their habits experience none of the same terror that poor addicts do. Why do we live in a society where the rich can enjoy their drugs yet the poor must scrape to survive? Another way is possible...

Heatherweather17 ,

Insightful

I have Listened to every episode and finally understand why people use drugs. I know the want to not feel but the idea of not being you without some substance really opened my mind. Why do we support those who take ssri's or other antidepressants or anxiety medication. Thank you for all the work Garth. You are giving a voice to the voiceless.

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