Friday, September 21, 2007

Drug activity increasing in sight

One of the aunties reports that drug distributors are giving stuff out to their sales people in Sahalli park now, not long after dark falls - that's earlier as dark comes earlier. She says she saw them there around 9:30 pm this week. Sahalli park is where Fraser Street ends at 8th Avenue. It has a really popular little kids' playground where mums, dads, and nannies tend to congregate with tots in the daylight hours, if the weather be good. Also there is the Broadway Youth Resource Centre just a block away at the corner of Broadway and Fraser. BYC has an addictions counselor, but now young addicts won't have far to go to be in temptation's way when they're trying to quit.

An auntie also reports that the back parking lot of the KFC at Prince Albert and Fraser must have become a late-night shooting gallery, because she sees piles of hypodermic needles lying around there early in the morning. People scoring drugs in this neighbourhood have too far to walk to the Insite safe injection site before injecting (although they could get there really quickly on a #8 bus that stops right in front of the Broadway Youth Centre).

The movement of drug distributors to Sahalli park (and their customers to nearby fast-food property) could well be related to the police sweep of the obvious dealers on the Downtown East Side. There were 63 smalltime dealers charged after being picked up by police there last July. According to a report on that sweep, the spokesman for the drugs squad had no comment to criticism that these sweeps displace dealers to other neighbourhoods.

Of related interest may be this link to a 2006 Vancouver Coastal Health Youth Drug Survey

If you or someone you know is looking to get off addictive drugs, here's a site that lists drug rehab centres in BC: This website also mentions that youth heroin addiction is on the increase. It also reprints an article by John Pifer from the Abbotsford news asking: "who in Ottawa or Victoria was behind the insane decision to end the need for Vancouver Port Police at a time when massive drug shipments were increasing?"

Another auntie says that the main problem in this neighbourhood is that people are coming into the area without adequate housing so they have to do their business out in the parks and the street. If your neighbour is quietly shooting heroin at home and going to work feeling no pain, it isn't scary like your neighbour doing illegal stuff out in plain sight and maybe taking offense that you see them doing it, too.

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