Since the spring we have been helping out at our local youth shelter. This weekly outreach has culminated into a once week baking class I put on with teenagers and young adults staying, or dropping in at the downtown shelter. The initial rational for helping out at the shelter was to add, in addition to our street outreach, a more pro-active and preventative support mechanism to battle with substance abuse. The experiences thus far have been nothing short than amazing, I have made many friends with both staff and clients, been able to provide positive role modelling, as well support (emotional, tangible, informative, and network support)- and of course we have baked many sweet and tasty delicacies. There are many drawbacks however still and what we are seeing about drug problems with marginalized youth does hurt to see. I need to point out the following:
Drug use is prevalent among disenfranchised youth, the category of drugs include opiates,cocaine, crack, and meth (not an exhaustive list). Drugs exacerbate the situation and get in the way of youth obtaining otherwise available services. In other words a young person on drugs is less likely to have access to services, be provided access and of course have motivation to obtain services.
The police and criminal justice system seems to be more a nuisance in the lives of these young people rather than provide any positive influence.
Drug and street culture serves to polarize vulnerable youth from people and services who otherwise may be willing to help them out.
Too many of these young ones are on prescription meds. It is amazing that in todays day and age service providers could potentially refuse services, or offer strict penalties for pot, yet at the same time happily dispense much more powerful ‘psychotropic’ meds. I am not saying all meds are bad, but there needs to be an objective stricter review of what is exactly going on with them in young populations.
Regardless of the above stated realities there does remain a safe place in my downtown area that provides shelter, food, and services as well caring staff. And yes even where you can do some baking with yours truly.
We are Addictnomore. Frontline engaged in the battle against drug addiction.
Leave you off with MATTHEW 20:16 “Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Doing a lot of reading always on ‘Addiction’, ‘Psychology’, and ‘Spirituality’ and I thought it would be an idea to add a blog with a list of books I have found to be very helpful in understanding drugs and drug use and well-being/recovery in general. These books come from different angles including sociology, psychology, anthropology, testimonial, spiritual, and from social worker texts. Hope you find some of these readings helpful on your journey. I will try to log in every so often and keep adding to the list (they are in no particular order ( and of course the last one on the list is my own) ).
ADDICTION TRAJECTORIES by Eugene Raikhel and William Garriott, editors, 2013, Duke University Press
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ADDICTION Edited by Julie Netherland, 2012, Emerald Press
ADDICTIONS FROM AN ATTACHMENT PERSPECTIVE Edited by Richard Gill, 2014, Karnac Press
ADDICTION TREATMENT, A STRENGTHS PERSPECTIVE, Katherine van Wormer, Diane Rae Davis, 2008, Thomas/Brooks/Cole.
DEVIANCE AND MEDICALIZATION, FROM BADNESS TO SICKNESS, by Peter Conrad and Joseph W Schneider, 1992, Temple University Press.
ADDICTION AS AN ATTACHMENT DISORDER, by Philip J. Flores, 2004, Jason Aronson Press.
GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY WITH ADDICTED POPULATIONS 3rd Edition, by Philip J. Flores. 2007, Routledge.
RESPONDING TO THE OPPRESSION OF ADDICTION, 2nd Edition, Edited by Rick Csiernik and William Rowe, 2010, Canadian Scholar’s Press.
THE STEPS OF HUMILITY AND PRIDE, by Bearnard of Clairvaux, 1973, Cistercian Publications.
WHEN GOD CALLED ON MY CELLPHONE. by Robert Vincent Piro, 2011, Xlibris.
ZEN BUDDHISM AND PSYCHOANALYSIS, Erich Fromm, D.T. Suzuki & Richard De Martino
THE ART OF BEING, Erich Fromm,
THE TAO OF WU, The Rza
TAO, THE WATERCOURSE WAY, Alan Watts
THE WISDOM OF INSECURITY, Alan Watts
TOWARD A PSYCHOLOGY OF BEING, Abraham Maslow
Happy reading, knowledge is power as they say, spread the word, and keep the faith!
Started the day doing outreach watching an old lady eat popcorn out of a garbage pail downtown on St.Paul Street. I tried to politely interrupt her with a $10.00 Tim Hortons gift card but she was not interested. She assured me with her name tag that she was fine and quite happy and alright eating her special popcorn. So I continued on.
Looking particular for those who are in drug ‘addiction’ as it is called today. We were out on the streets looking for those who were locked in drugs and destitute…offering emotional, informational and tangible support. Most important to our message is unconditional love. We are not judging and we do not conform to common sense societal categories that label and stigmatize individuals. We are addictnomore, that is we were once living a life of drugs and ‘crime’ ourselves. We are out trying to just help, not judge. Every one is free with their lives to do with it what they want. Personally I believe there is nothing someone can do that would make God love them less, nor do that would make God love them more. We are all equal.
We were able to run up with several people down and out and on drugs, and were able to chat together for some time. We had Tim Horton gift cards to give out today along with AddictNoMore info packs. I was quite surprised three of those we spoke with were from Hamilton. We talked and did discover Hamilton has quite a presence in St.Catharines. We heard some good things about Debbie B. who also from Hamilton is also helping out with those in need in Niagara. If anyone speaks to Debbie please ask her to contact Robert@addictnomore.ca (thats my email) she knows me well from many years ago.
In all, all we can offer is our love, forgiveness and support. Hoping people are safe in their journeys. May one day everyone see that a life of drugs is a lie – drugs will lead you down…., but we love you the same. I would like to leave of with Ezekiel 18:29 – 32 it reads “and yet they say, ‘The Lord’s way is not fair!’ Is it my way that is not fair, or rather, is it not that your ways are not fair?……, ‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies’, says the Lord God. ‘Return and live’!
People are becoming more and more comfortable with social medium forums such as facebook and less and less comfortable with more older conventions such as yellow pages and newspapers, even telephones(preferring texting over speech). It is becoming more clear that effective outreach can take place on the internet as well. We have had recent success on forums such as facebook reaching out to addicts accross Canada and the United States. Addictnomore is on facebook under the name “Addictnomore Addictnomore” as well on Twitter @Addict_No_More. We encourage anyone with an interest, and, or history of Addiction, and, or current Addiction problem to reach out and friend us on one of these social media devices. These accounts are monitored daily and can offer ongoing emotional support and informational support to anyone who inquires. One day at a time.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain can not be hidden…just so let your light shine…”Matthew5:14-16.
Able to offer some support and love to those using drugs and working the streets in the City of Hamilton today. We had info packs, timie gift cards, socks, underwear, some tasty snacks as well. I spoke with a few people who were out working the corner and some just out and about. Happy to have met Sarah..and hope she is able to find her way out of addiction. She promised to pray for me, I am thankful for her kindness. I am hopeful that every one we spoke to today who are using drugs will soon find their way out of their suffering. I wish them the strength to see that drugs only make the pain worse…that drugs are a lie….that we all have a life waiting for us in recovery.
I did get to run up with one of Paulina’s uncles (Paulina recently overdosed). I know her uncles well and use to use drugs with them years ago. I hope they see and we all see how unnecessary it is that any of us die to addiction…no matter how many we loose, regardless, more keep dying. I would say to Paulina’s uncles and everyone using; there is no better day than today to stop this insanity. It is time to put the drugs down. Time to seek the help(detox) one needs. Time to begin living the life that is waiting you for you. We are here in support of you each with all your perfections and imperfections. We are AddictNoMore.
I would like to leave off with 1Corinthians 9:24-27 “Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win … every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for on that will last forever. That is why I run…I harden my body.. to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.”
Out on foot this afternoon with two special helpers (Thank-you K and S for your support). Managed to make contact and gives some support to five addicts on the Hamilton streets; one man, a women on Methadone and three working girl/addicts on Barton…We handed out some tasty energy bars, tim horten gift cards, information packages on where to get help, and some old fashioned unconditional love.
This is the fourth visit to Hamilton streets by addictnomore. I am beginning to sense the real void between social services and those who most need them. Outreach is absolutely necessary to establish a relationship/repoir with those fallen through the “cracks”. A caring presence must be established on the streets to mediate a potential recovery for addicts in between the polarization that exists between dealers and police. The addict must learn and see there is someone else out there besides the dealers and cops. For addicts on the street to develop relations with addictnomore is the first step in that addict considering there is a life in recovery for them.
This is not a job, this is not a hobby. This is one recovered addict paying respect to the people who kept him alive when he was on the streets. This is a thank-you and I still love you to those using and destitute on the streets. One day at a time. One step at a time. We will all get there. Soon we will all be free.
” You are always in my heart!…I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgement, so that you will be able to choose what is best. Then you will be free from impurity and blame…your lives will be filled with good…” PHILIPPIANS1:7-11
We were out today about mid-day in City of Hamilton with information kits and some Tim Horten gift cards – we were talking to addicts on Barton Street also King Street. I saw Gary B. on his bike riding around but could not catch up to him- I hope he is praying as he told me he was. Managed to reach out to about five addicts on the street in a short time. Was taken back a bit today at the amount of drug activity going on in the city especially considering it was only about noon. Interrupted one phone call to a dealer with some info pamphlets – at least they will know who to call next time, or when those drugs are done. Also stumbled upon a domestic fight that had spilt out on to the street. Lots of dealers walking around! Cops do not seem to be helping, we can see you coming a mile away and making addicts hide from plain site only makes outreach harder. Forcing drug realities under ground doesn’t help the people involved, doesn’t help the communities, nor does it make Hamilton any safer. “As the saying goes, before long the dense forest will become farmland, and the farmland will go back to forest. When that day comes, the deaf will be able to hear a book being read aloud, and the blind, who have been living in darkness, will open there eyes and see….It will be the end of those who oppress others and show contempt for God…”ISAIAH29:17-21
At this moment if you want to stop using drugs you need to make this happen for yourself. No one is going to make the first change for you. The first steps to take are the hardest but most clear.
1 _ Seek detox 431 Whitney (905 545 9100) if you are female, 525 Main St (905 527-9264) if you are male.
2_ If detoxes are full or too far from you , seek shelter at Martha’s House 30 Pearl St. (905 523 6277) if you are female, at Mission Services on James St at corner of Barton 905 528 7535 if you are male.
3_ If you can not get to detox, or a shelter for help just call the numbers listed above..
4_If any of this seems to difficult but you want to stop the madness and abuse in your life just walk yourself to the nearest Hospital Emergency and tell them you need help with drugs that this is matter of life and death.
A journey into sobriety is the most challenging and rewarding decision someone could ever make for themselves. It is not easy, but many have already successfully left drugs and all that crap behind them…. we are addictnomore …
Robert@addictnomore.ca (thats my email if you want to reach me)
We were out today in the City of Hamilton showing love to addicts in recovery and also those on the streets. First stop was at Womenkind in West Hamilton where we dropped off $100.00 off in gift cards for our sisters in recovery to treat themselves with…then off to Barton St. and Emerald St. where we found M. working the corner with two of her friends. I personally have known M. and her family for about 10 years now. We gave them each information packages on where to get help with T.Horton $10.o0 gift cards and words of encouragement. Last stop was Mission Services on Barton St. North where the remaining gift cards were given out. Special Thanks to Jesse!Leaving off for now with LUKE16:10, till our next street engagement
“We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do”
WHERE TO GET HELP IN CITY OF ST.CATHARINES, NIAGARA. A quick reference page with some contact infor on where to get help in St.Catharines for addiction, crisis, shelter, food, support…maybe if people know other good places you can add yourself in the comment section!