Sunday, May 1, 2016
He Ain’t Going Nowhere
As the godfather of Nashville songwriters, Guy Clark has survived more than forty years of late-night partying and arduous touring—and suffered the loss of those he loved most. Yet somehow his genius is as sharp as ever.
Photographs by Wyatt McSpadden
And then there’s the equally significant matter of his timing. Those songs were written in the seventies and eighties, when the hard-living coterie of Guy, Townes Van Zandt, and Jerry Jeff Walker was inventing the notion that a Texas singer-songwriter practiced his own distinct form of artistry, creating the niche in which disciples like Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and Robert Earl Keen would make their careers. Yet Guy penned “My Favorite Picture of You” a mere three years ago, just after turning 69, an age to which most of his contemporaries had chosen to coast, provided they were still living at all.
6th Street Austin with Guy Clark, George and Scott 1995
at 2:10 PM
"I'm sorry oughta be the epitaph" JJW from this song.
at 1:34 PM
Sunday, April 24, 2016
There is a solution for reducing street crime AND improving the lives and self-esteem of hardcore addicts. Sensible and monitored programs of drug legalization works and the community is better off for it.
Vancouver Prescriptions for Addicts Gain Attention as Heroin and Opioid Use Rises
By DAN LEVIN
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Dave Napio started doing heroin over four decades ago, at 11 years old. Like many addicts these days, he heads to Vancouver’s gritty Downtown Eastside neighborhood when he needs a fix.
But instead of seeking out a dealer in a dark alley, Mr. Napio, 55, gets his three daily doses from a nurse at the Crosstown Clinic, the only medical facility in North America permitted to prescribe the narcotic at the center of an epidemic raging across the continent.
And instead of robbing banks and jewelry stores to support his habit, Mr. Napio is spending time making gold and silver jewelry, hoping to soon turn his hobby into a profession.
“My whole life is straightening out,” Mr. Napio, who spent 22 of his 55 years in prison, said during a recent interview in the clinic’s mirror-lined injection room. “I’m becoming the guy next door.”
Mr. Napio is one of 110 chronic addicts with prescriptions for diacetylmorphine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in heroin, which he injects three times a day at Crosstown as part of a treatment known as heroin maintenance. The program has been so successful at keeping addicts out of jail and away from emergency rooms that its supporters are seeking to expand it across Canada. But they have been hindered by a tangle of red tape and a yearslong court battle reflecting a conflict between medicine and politics on how to address drug addiction.
The clinic’s prescription program began as a clinical trial more than a decade ago. But it has garnered more interest recently as a plague of illicit heroin use and fatal overdoses of legal painkillers has swept across the United States, fueling frustration over ideological and legal obstacles to forms of treatment that studies show halt the spread of disease through needles and prevent deaths.
Canada and some European countries have long permitted needle exchanges and monitored injection sites. Prescription programs like Crosstown’s, for addicts whom replacement drugs like methadone do not seem to help, have been available for years in Britain, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. All these countries have reported significant decreases in drug abuse, crime and disease.
But such programs have been stymied in the United States, where overdoses have lately led to 125 deaths per day, by concerns that they would encourage illicit drug use. In February, the mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., was criticized by some Republican officials, rehabilitation professionals and police officers after he proposed to establish the country’s first supervised injection facility.
The authorities in Vancouver, a bustling metropolis on the coast of British Columbia, say they turned to such programs after more traditional criminal justice approaches failed to stop rampant illegal drug use and sales on the Downtown Eastside, a poor neighborhood notorious for addiction and crime. “We tried to arrest our way out of it and that didn’t work,” Sgt. Randy Fincham of the Vancouver Police Department said. “Clogging up our courts and jails was not the solution.”
The city started, in 2003, with North America’s first legal injection facility, InSite, which currently serves around 800 people each day. The addicts bring their own drugs, and InSite provides clean needles and medical supervision. The organization has recorded no fatal overdoses on its premises, and said overdoses near the facility have decreased by 35 percent since 2003, compared with a 9 percent decrease throughout Vancouver.
More broadly, a study by the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS found that people who use safe injection sites are 30 percent more likely to enter detox programs and 70 percent less likely to share needles.
Legal injection sites do not, however, address the thefts, prostitution and other criminal behavior that participants often rely on to finance their addiction. And heroin sold on the street is often combined with — or surreptitiously replaced by — fentanyl, an opioid up to 50 times as potent that was a cause or contributing factor in 655 deaths across Canada from 2009 to 2014, according to the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse.
Participants in the Crosstown prescription program do not have to worry about the purity of their drugs.
To get a diacetylmorphine prescription from the clinic, patients must have participated in two earlier clinical trials on heroin maintenance, whose eligibility requirements included more than five years of injecting opioids and at least two failed attempts at replacement therapy, one of which with a treatment such as methadone.
at 11:57 AM