It’s never gonna stop. When one dealer gets caught, there’s five more waiting to take his spot. Like, this will never stop. As long as there’s a demand for pills, they’re gonna keep coming. It’s the Devil’s pill. For a person that has an addiction of twenty pills a day you literally have to go and do crime, and, you know what I mean… steal this, sell this and you start, you know, doing stuff that you never ever thought of doing when you’re normal, when you weren’t on these pills. Twenty three. It’s been five years that I’ve been addicted to these pills. It scares me sometimes to think about what’s gonna happen. I kinda just live day-to-day. Panhandle everyday to try to make my money. Try and make sure I’m not sick. It doesn’t last long, so you’re sick again. Like, heroin, you can do in the morning and you can be all good ’til tomorrow. Like, fentanyl, you can withdrawal like three times a day. Half to one percent of fentanyl users will die, and if we lost close to three hundred last year then we’re looking at thirty thousand. I think we’re probably more looking at forty, fifty, maybe even sixty thousand people using. Most fentanyl people I see are not thirty, forty, fifty, it’s late twenties all the way down to fourteen. And that’s the scary part. Especially with how often it kills people versus being able to get into treatment. I mean the deaths for fentanyl is outrageous. Fentanyl is a pharmaceutical drug in the class of drugs called opiates. Initially it was used in the 1960’s for severe pain and operative procedures, and now you start to see fentanyl used for chronic pain patients who have pain from a whole variety of conditions. The fentanyl we’re seeing on the street though is illicitly prepared fentanyl most likely from China. It’s crazy to see how our lives have changed, like five years ago I never would imagine that I’d be homeless, or wearing the same clothes for three, four days at a time. But when you start doing pills you start to not really give a fuck what people think because you know that you need that drug and the fact that it’s an opiate is hard because you get sick from it right? so when you’re sick it’s like you’ll do anything to get un-sick. We have three hundred and some in treatment at our place so, essentially we have about as many people in treatment at this clinic as there are people who will die from fentanyl this year. Ashley come on in. -Hi.
-Hi. -How are you feeling?
-Not that great. -No? -When was the last time you took fentanyl? -Um, like, yesterday. One of the most primitive parts of the human brain is where we sense and seek reward food, fluids, fun, and reproduction. -How’d you do it?
-Um I snorted it. And the chemical in our brain that increases when we have a rewarding experience is dopamine -Hands up. When you eat something that you enjoy you get a dopamine surge in your brain. It reinforces that so you look for that stimulus again. The response to drugs of abuse are orders of magnitude more in terms of dopamine. -Like I said yesterday, it doesn’t take long for me to go into withdrawal. -I know. I know. So this is why it’s very common that we see patients who have addictions. They’re always, always, always looking for the reward of the addictive substance. That’s not a will issue, that’s a neurochemical issue. And that’s in the most primitive part of the brain, so what we’re trying to tell people with the moral stance that we tend to take as a society is, ‘Use the more evolved parts of your brain to turn off your survival mechanisms.’ It’s next to impossible to do that without trying to stabilize that initial survival aberrancy. Just remember, where you were before you came here, right? Where you told me you was at, and all that pain and sadness you felt every single day. Do you want to be going back to that, or not? In 2012, when Oxycontin was reformulated into a tamper-resistant or an abuse-deterrent form called Oxyneo, there was a bit of a panic because Oxycontin was probably the most widely traded opiate on the street in the illicit opiate trade. -I’ve had better days, man.
-You’re telling me. I think most people working in addiction were expecting that heroin would make a comeback when Oxycontin went away. And that’s the worst that I think most of us saw coming. We didn’t expect fentanyl to come. -What makes you want to get cleaned up? -I’m done with this. I fucking hate it. -You gotta make sure you’re doing it for yourself. You can’t be doing it for your family, you can’t be doing it for some girl. -Yeah. -And you gotta be ready to go to those steps. If you do want to get clean, I can get you into the 18-25 program here -Does you gotta be clean already to come here? -You have five days. -Well like, I can’t stay clean long enough to get on it. Well the only way to get to that first point is that willpower, right? Either way it’s going to suck. -I know, that’s why I can’t do it. Because no matter what, if there’s a way to, like, get un-sick I’m gonna do it. I just, I can’t take it. I’m a bitch when it comes to withdrawals. -The withdrawals are pretty much the easiest part of a recovery. It seems like the hardest at the time, but all the work you gotta put in afterwards, that’s when it gets tough. But you gotta get over that first hump. He’s nodding off. He knows that it’s the right thing to do, he knows that it’s what he wants to do. But he’s not willing to take the steps to get there just yet. The challenge with people who are addicted to fentanyl is, because it’s such a powerful and toxic opiate, the withdrawal syndrome is also quite pronounced. I’d rather die than go through the pain of the withdrawals of these pills. But once you do a pill you feel relaxed, you can function and you can go through your day. Like, you know what I mean. You can… be normal. You feel it in your bones, you’re restless, but you’re so weak you can’t move. But you’ve got to, because — like, the anxiety is just unbearable. It’s like, there’s nothing else that I could use to describe what it’s like. It’s something else. You see people unloading their groceries and you just ask them, ‘Hey excuse me, sorry to bother you, blah blah, I need some food or whatever.’ And nobody really minds to give up a cart, and like in twenty minutes you can easily push like, ten or fifteen carts and there’s fifteen bucks right there. That’s five dollars away from a pill. When I was working, I was working in a donation center and I would steal any gold that came in, any silver, any computers. Anything I could sell. But I remember finding a wallet, and it was this deceased lady’s wallet, and she had the bank card in there. As long as you swiped underneath a thousand, then you’d just have to sign, so I practiced her signature. And I took all of this dead lady’s money. ‘Nope.’ ‘Locked.’ I’ll panhandle. The only thing I really do. ‘That door used to be open all the time.’ Because… I don’t want to get money through something that’s going to get me in trouble, you know? I never ever thought that I would ever do that. In a million years I never thought I’d be sitting outside a store with a sign — -But again like I said, it makes you do things that you’d never do, and… …it’s not — it’s not you, it’s the drug, right? -Yeah. At around 6:30, I go to the Tim Horton’s drive through and I hold a sign up, and everyone that passes through, they give me change. I make roughly, like, no less than a hundred bucks every morning. Anywhere from a hundred to a hundred and sixty. I feel bad saying it, but it’s all just playing people. You just gotta look at the person, read them, and tell them exactly what they want to hear. -First you start doing it just to get high, you know what I mean? But eventually, after, you start to get sick and in pain, and you need it. And that’s when you start selling your stuff, you start selling your clothes… Eventually you have nothing. Having an opiate addiction is like a full-time job that you never have a break from. If I could kick this addiction and not do it anymore, and continue to do the things I do to make money, like… I was doing the math and adding it up. In the last year from doing this it was like, a hundred and eighty grand. And I’m sure I only spent maybe two grand on food. -Oh no. Are you serious? -Y’all don’t know shit. -This used to be our house. – [singing] I hurt myself today… -I’m getting my shit too. Maybe a change of pants! – [singing] I hurt myself today… Look, there’s the honey you used to have. Look at all this honey. Used to eat this.
[laughs] Sick, huh? Honey. -I do love him a lot. When everything gets so bad, you know, to the point where you’re on the streets, it’s like you don’t even want to be sober because life just sucks. -Here, take your sweater.
-Oh, yeah! My sweater! Like, there was a time when he was in jail and I was staying at the D.I., and every day I was making like two hundred bucks, and I didn’t have to support anybody but myself, right? So I was getting… Lots of beans (pills) -‘What else do you need?’ -But… I’d rather be with him on the streets than without him on the streets. [laughs]
It’s sad. They were charging us a hundred bucks. And we couldn’t come up with a hundred bucks a week, because, actually honestly, I would have money, and I would be like, ‘Oh no, I’ll be able to get it later’ and this and that. I would spend it on pills, and… [sighs] …then, eventually, they just get sick of the excuses, right? The police when they do drug seizures will test to find out what the quantity is of fentanly in a pill that they’ve seized from a batch and are routinely finding pills that are 4 or 5 milligrams worth of fentanyl Honestly, at a point where your tolerance is so high, if you get a bad one, it’s good The dose of fentanyl that’s required for a euphoric buzz is about two grains of salt. But if you try and imagine putting two grains of salt on your morning eggs Sometimes, you’re gonna get five, sometimes, you’re gonna get ten And that’s the same thing that happens when you’re preparing these pills some of them are gonna be extremely hot and likely to kill you -I’m gonna do another one A fatal fentanyl does for you or me is about 1 and a half to 2 milligrams And even in a drug user who’s quite opiate tolerant, 4 or 5 milligrams can very likely be a fatal dose -We’re good -High as I was before -High as a bird. A little, little pill was controlling me like, it literally took over my mind and my thoughts to where I pushed my wife away, my kids I probably spent about 100,000 on fentanyl, maybe even more. Who knows? -You need the bathroom? -OK. -Let’s go, you guys There is a way out of it It’s just how bad you want it, how hungry you are too For me, it was hitting rock bottom, like, losing everything money, trucks, like, everything; my wife, and that’s what stopped me In five years, I hope to see myself clean, I hope to have a beautiful girlfriend, I hope to be working, I hope to have my life on track again, like I think about getting clean every single day. There’s just not enough resources out here to get us all clean. A lot of us don’t wanna be clean, a lot of us are OK with this life but, I’m not, it’s not for me, but this is where it’s got me stuck in, this is what I gotta do. I think it’s most startling, is who it’s affecting, and the answer is: pretty much everybody. You know, young people, old people, soccer moms divorced dads, investment bankers, people who don’t have a bank account new immigrants, people who’s ancestors were the first people in Canada And, when a problem starts to effect demographics that we typically care more about I think we’re more likely to say ‘Maybe a bad choice was involved but, we can’t hang those kids out to dry.’ Whereas, typically, in conservative Alberta, if we had a inner-city, dwelling, homeless person who was using injection drugs we might be less concerned about that. And reality is, they’re all human beings Can I get chicken fried rice? And I’ll have a steak, thank you. Do you ever worry about dying? No. You ever lost a friend who does drugs? Yeah, I’ve lost 11 people You’re, how old? 22. You’ve buried 11 friends Well, I know of 11 friends that have been buried A lot of people think, well, if you’ve lost that many friends, why do you keep doing it? Because, you can’t stop Yeah it’s too hard You need help to stop I just can’t find a facility that’ll take me in and do what I need Here, there’s Renfree(a program that helps people with rent) or whatever, but they’re just gonna stick me in a room and make me wait it out, I can’t do that I need medication to get off it. Like, I need it If I could get you an appointment with somebody in Calgary to talk about your treatment options here in town, would you go? Yeah, of course I would. You would? Yeah. I’d be so thankful for that One of my colleagues who works with me in Edmonton actually practices in Calgary as well, cause he lives here OK. I’m gonna talk to him about getting you the next available appointment and then he can just talk to you about what the options are in Calgary That’d be awesome One of them he’ll talk about is methadone and suboxone cause, I don’t have money for any of those, like, Yeah, you don’t need money for this It’s healthcare The first overdose that I have witnessed as a physician was I pulled into the Walmart parking lot in July of 2014 There was a car parked right next to me and the door fell open the young man who was driving that vehicle fell out onto the pavement and he wasn’t breathing and he didn’t have a pulse. When I went over and pulled him out of the vehicle, and I didn’t realize at the time that that was one of the first fentanyl overdoses that we were going to experience, here. Before, we would see 1 to 2 overdoses from narcotics a week but now, we are seeing up to 2 to 3 overdoses a day and sure enough, all of those overdoses had fentanyl in them You know, we’re working to be a step ahead and it seems like we’re always just chasing We started meeting with the community partnership group to get into homes, when we’ve identified homes that are at risk And in the last month, we’ve probably been into 4 or 5 houses where they’ve all come back with drug seizures. So, the first community we’ll go through here is Stand Off, this is our main community. You’ll see a lot of these boarded up houses we have a mandate to focus on families that are affected by drugs and harboring drug dealers and we’re tasked to go in and shut these homes down. Growing up was fun but, now, it’s just bad I’m tired of being asked, where’d you get pills and it feels like I’m telling them to go buy them, and die, you know what I mean? It just feels ugly. I practically know, like, everybody in Stand Off my house is open to everybody Fentanyl, it’s pretty much taken over Stand Off like, wherever you go, someone’s looking for a pill probably 85%, like, almost, up there. Like pretty much all of Stand Off This is my friend right here He OD’d. Sometimes, I just think about these people like, my cousin, Mary-Anne’s first time doing it; she did it at this house with the dealer and then the dealer, like, didn’t know what to do, cause she was OD-ing. Put her in a stroller-a baby stroller pushed her through the back-alley to the back of her house, and left her, and they all ran away and then, the ambulance came and she was already gone Dealers that come into Stand Off, they don’t care about my people They’ll move into a house and then, those people will get evicted So, they’ll move to another house, where those people will get evicted. That’s what I’m saying, these people that let the others come in don’t think about it, they just think about getting that fix If we wanna make a dent, we gotta get rid of all the dealers. All the trafficing, you know (from radio) I’m gonna set up here and see if I can take it down Willy’s(a house) Yeah, absolutely and I’m sure alert will be very interested in knowing that vehicle’s out here. So, we just located a target vehicle that we’ve been looking for for a while There’s a bunch of people associated to that that are wanted on major charges right now, also. You made that stop? *Indistinguishable* (from radio) I can see possibly 2, 3 occupants in the vehicle Let’s go make that stop Step out of the vehicle. Do you have anything on you that I’m gonna find? No? Put your hands behind your back We have information that you guys have been related to possession and trafficking So, right now, you’re under arrest for that The computer’s a down right now, they just said, so, we’ll have to wait So, this is common with fentanyl abuse And along the edge of that razor, you can see the green residue: that green residue’s from the fentanyl This is definitely drug related There’s another bundle of cash here Who’s cash is in that vehicle? Oh, that’s for your son? And you normally carry it like that? in bundles? And the girl that you’re with? OK, stand up What town? So, this is typically a way that we would get a bust on this so, we know that there’s someone at a house, so, we’re gonna go over to the house and we’re gonna try and make entry into the house. We certainly wanna hold the people that are profiting from the sale of fentanyl accountable. But at the same time, recognize that we need to support the addicts who are addicted to fentanyl. Make sure that the, the dispatcher know where you guys are working So, if there is any problems, we can get uniformed support in the area as quickly as possible Yeah, absolutely Usually, after we do an arrest, we’ll monitor the drug dealers phone And what I’ve noticed now is the desperation on the other end of the phone Before, with the crack-cocaine and the meth, you’d get one call and they wouldn’t call back With the fentanyl, they’re calling back a dozen times like, ‘Where are you? Where are you? I’ll give you a hundred dollars for one bean (pill) like, the desperation in their voice is something that I’ve really, really noticed with fentanyl, that we didn’t have before. I, like, miss it. I actually miss it, it’s in the back of my head, I miss the chaos like, I enjoy Summer times, I liked doing what I did, the only reason I it’s not the only reason that I quit, but when I quit it just happened to be Winter time and every Winter time, I’m like, ‘I don’t wanna do this,’ and, now, I almost feel scared, so scared because it’s almost Summer time. And I know that I can get it, like, I know that I want it but, it’s six months down the road, and I’m scared of dying I’m scared that I’m gonna do too big of a line but I just wanna do it And I don’t know how to fix that It’s normal to feel that way the only way to fix that is to let it out like you’re doing right now to talk about it If you sit there and you keep thinking about it and pondering on it eventually, it’s gonna happen You gotta share that with other people there’s nothing different about what you’re going through than what other people are the fantasies are still there, the fear is still there and that’s a healthy fear Use that fear to drive you to do things that make you uncomfortable to better your recovery. Meetings. Meetings, new friends, new places When we say that fentanyl is 100 times as toxic a morphine what we’re saying is that; a pound of fentanyl is the same as 100 pounds of morphine or about 50 pounds of heroine So, if you’re a drug trafficker you can move a million doses of fentanyl in a shoe box or in a glasses case compared to requiring a skid for morphine That’s a huge attraction for a drug dealer, I would imagine The tablets are 20 dollars a pill in Calgary and obviously there’s significant profit margins to be made The price for a kilogram of fentanyl is about 12,500 American (dollars) Of course, each kilogram could make a million tablets so, once you do that math, it’s obvious how significant profit margins are. So this person that we believe is at this house he is a violent gangster, he as been known to have weapons with him, in his house, guns, knives, things like that. We do have vests for you but you’re not suited up so This house, 615 Patrol Charlie 1, can you give me the number for housing? We’re at the house right now, where we have a suspected drug dealer, we were informed that he’s at this house 615, and nobody’s coming to the door. Can you possibly come give us a hand? Yeah, 615 Thank you The homes are owned by the reserve so, they’ve been given a banned council resolution, which is a legal document from the Chief in Council that says ‘If there’s suspected drug use and harboring and dealing from residents, that they can make entry into that house.’ They are your locks Yeah, the back door is all piled with garbage but we can give it a try We’re gonna try the back door, do you wanna watch the front? Oh, it’s boarded? Police! Coming in Come on out! With your hands first! Open the door! Put your hands out right away! OK, put your hands up on the wall Who else is in here? Why aren’t you answering the door when I’m knocking? You didn’t hear me Right now, you’re under detention How much did you flush? I got some roaches and stuff in here that I’ll have you- Oh, I got fentanyl right here I think he was just getting rid of it as fast as he could He’s not from here He has no ties to this reserve and that’s a common theme that we’re finding is people come from outside this reserve to this reserve, primarily just to sell and make a quick buck and they move on, another good sign of trafficking, baggies We found, fentanyl use, some fentanyl, and some crack, he’d flushed when we came in so, luckily for us, it was still in the toilet. I’m almost positive that there’s a lot more. It’s probably in that trap in the toilet right now -They were going to buy, cause there was 4 grand in that truck Yeah, there was 4 grand that was in that truck, so This should probably tide them over until they’re back with a new shipment kinda thing The housing guy that came out, he’s gonna come up and he’s gonna board this house he’s gonna evict these people. That’s helping us a lot out here, cause people are scared to lose their house cause they lose their house out here, they’re paying probably, 1% compared to what they’d be paying in the city or Cardston Fort McLeod, kind of thing Come here! That’s a cute little cat, eh I don’t think we’re gonna charge our way out of this it’s more of education and and be able to provide these addicts escape, so it’s very hard for us to encourage them to give up the-get clean or whatever cause we have no where to send them. That’s the main problem we’re having. Pan-handling It’s not security, it’s peace officers. Let’s go this way Usually, I can get a couple hours out of the train station before the peace officers’ll come but lately, it’s been pretty heated around here I don’t know Dollarama’s usually pretty good Oh, we already got somebody over there, it looks like. I think Ryan and Sean There goes that idea Can’t do somewhere where somebody’s already there I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Canadian doctors’ prescribing of opiates over the last couple of decades has really had a substantial role in determining this opiate addiction problem that we have here. We prescribe opiates for minor pain conditions, we prescribe opiates long-term for chronic pain conditions And I have a really hard time believing that Canadian people patients, feel pain differently than their counter-parts in other parts of the world Canadians and Americans are far-and-away the largest consumer of prescribtion opiates more than 150% more than the 3rd place: Denmark You suck New to Calgary Oh shit, got someone shoplifting over there, it looks like. Oh wow It’s crazy It’s crazy I don’t usually do here It’s really embarrassing but, when you have a habit to support and not only that but, even just to eat when you’re out on the streets is What else do you do, besides steal right? I’d rather not, so, I’d rather Thank you It’s OK, it’s OK Thank you, god bless I’m making something here, I guess What’s stopping you from doing fentanyl, aside from your family? Every time I run into my old friends, They always tell me like, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t fall down that old path’ As muhc as you’re supposed to get rid of your old friends that are still addicted and everything, they’re kinda like my support group You care about them, and they care about you They don’t wanna bring you down You know how powerful this stuff is And you carry with you a naloxone kit So, naloxone is the antidote for an opiate overdoes you’ve probably heard about it on the news So, there’s a number of components So, what happens when somebody overdoses on an opiate is, the part of your brain that tells your lungs to breathe turns off Because they’re not breathing on their own, it’s really important to establish an airway for them and the way you ventilate them is, you use this mask you plug their nose, and you blow into their mask. If they don’t come to, that’s when you’re gonna use naloxone So, naloxone is given by injection, cause if you were to take it by mouth it’s not gonna work So, you’re gonna take the top off the naloxon vial you’re gonna draw up the contents of this hold it like a dart, pop it into the thigh and then, you’re gonna plunge down on it slow and steady By that time, hopefully emergency help will have arrived and you’ve bought the person a lot of time Snort, snort, snort, and you don’t even think about food or anything Fentanyl takes over your life It doesn’t even care, the fentanyl pill don’t care He saved my life the first time He’s saved a lot of people’s lives As sson as I sat down I would be OD-ing. I had to move to not OD on that stuff Yeah, I walked in an this guy was sitting – was it in the living room or on the table? The first time, was it on the table or in the living room Yeah, you guys had to pull me out of the tub All I remember is waking up in the hospital How many friends have you lost because of fentanyl? Does that include family too? Everybody I lost like four people No, Britney wasn’t a OD We even lost our aunty and uncle at the same time My brother and sister Tim and Roxanne They passed away together, they died together sitting at the table That’s so wicked that they died together My mom phoned me, she told me she had some news and that I should sit down she told me my best friend-my brother pretty much-has died Well, like, the doctor just did the autopsy, he had fentanyl in his system he’s just been to all these rehab centers, like, time after time Hey (from phone) Hey, what’s up man? Nothin. Who are you with? That’s fucked up about Cole, eh? (from phone) Yeah, man (from phone) How are you taking it? It’s killing me man, like Never gonna see the kid again, like, he’s fucking dead (from phone) Did you talk to mom about it? A little bit, she’s gonna call me back later tonight It happens, I guess But it shouldn’t have happened to him That’s the twelfth friend Twelve friends in two years That’s a friend every two months But this one, this one’s the hardest Like, I think about him all the time, all the time like, I couldn’t wait to see him again and now I’ll never get to see him I haven’t seen him in like, a year and a half, two years All cause of this, I’m stuck in Calgary, I’m trapped here I can’t leave I can’t even go to his funeral, like, I can’t I can’t go see his family, give my condolences I just have to stay here and do stuck on fentanyl What’s it gonna take to finally break free from this grip? Good morning It’s boxing time The effective treatments that we have are essentially medication assissted treatment with long acting synthetics opiates or partial opiates like methadone and suboxone It’s a medication that the patient will take everyday It just keep them from having cravings and withdrawls then it’s shown to help their social function, family relationships decrease in the involvement with criminal activity and the such -So now, you just wait till it disolves, the time it takes to disolve When we get them on treatment, it’s almost as though there’s a complete awakening I’m not dreading waking up in the morning it’s no exaggeration to say that most people who are in the throes of addiction have no concern for whether or not they wake up in the morning They said suboxone was like, a miracal drug well, I think it is, a great change to our life I had three options in my mind, which were: change my life go to jail, or overdose. So I picked; change my life. This is when we went to New York, me and my wife That was just in November like, she’s always been there for me, eh and I always thank her, everyday, everyday I tell her ‘thank you so much so, for changing my life’ I wasted time that I couldn’t get back for my son and my daughter like, I missed, maybe, about two birthdays with them Now that motivates me to get better, to be even stronger be a stronger person, give the a dad, eh I’m glad I quit though, I don’t wanna be on the shit anymore I don’t wanna die. What would happen it I didn’t quit? I’d probably be dead by now, Now that I’m trying, like, I’m on suboxone, I’m trying to stay away from drugs, I’m healing It feels like my family wants nothing to do with me As I was telling you, they want to see you change they still think you’re doing pills and everything cause they see you out there but just, do what you’re doing; stay off of drugs and what not and just show them, like, in the long run, they’ll se you they’ll look at you and they’ll say. Well, he is he’s been trying I told your grandma you were trying to change Thank you for that man, you’re like a big brother to me, bro We’ll help you but you have to help yourself, OK? I’ve shot up, crack, meth heroine, morphine, I did an abundance of everything but, fentanyl was always in the middle of it all and once I hit the streets It took over almost every thought I had, that there’s no way out of this other than continuing to lie, cheat, and steal or, death I got out of my tent that I was living in, called up my dealer I bought 30 pills and decided it was the day that I was gonna kill myself I got this feeling inside of me that I really wanted to jump into this canal of water I did about probably, I can’t remember the exact number, it was probably around 25 pills and jumping in the water and for the first time in a long time, I felt an emotion, and it was scared I was finally scared to die It was in the detox, and you gotta talk to the doctor and she said, you know, ‘you shouldn’t be alive’ The only reason that you are alive is’ because I was jumping in the water and everytime I hit the water-the water was cold and it shocked my respiratory system so that it didn’t just freeze and shut down because of the fentanyl but that shock is what kept it going so, the only thing that kept me alive was: the bridge jumping A big part of it plays into the treatment I got at the Dream Center I finally felt that I mattered And that was one of the big, driving forces to working at the Dream Center, which is what I do now I work as an operational support worker and I help take care of the guys and when they’re struggling, they come to me and I relate and we talk about it and we go through our problems together And, I sure at every grad(?) for every person, that I connect with, just let them know the same thing that I learned that day is that, you do matter and that it is possible to have people care about you It’s been going on for almost three years now Ok. Alright So, at the clinic that I work at the Opiate Dependency, or ODP We offer a combination or methdone or suboxone, do you know anything about either or them? Uh, a little bit And anytime we’re looking at a program with medication it’s always good to have it augmented by, counselling, cause the medication does one part of it You gotta do the rest And so, since you’ve been kinda using it sounds like it’s had a bit of an affect on your life, correct? Yeah Completely, I’m like, homeless, right now, I don’t have a job, like, my whole life is fucked My best friend died on Saturday, so He’s using the fentanyl as well? was It’s good that you’re thinking of trying to do something about it for yourself once we get you a stable does, we get you out to the community and then we just kinda see you on a regular basis The only difference with our clinic versus Dr. Vraning, who I believe you talked to that’s a private clinic and we can get in people pretty quick We unfortunately do have a bit of a wait list at ODP and so, it’s a couple of months long So, it is a bit of a process to get in to our clinic It is unfortunately a bit of a wait And you can’t do anything about that, like No. You know, a couple months, unfortunately, is what we’re looking at at this point OK And so, that’s pretty much it Alright, sorry I couldn’t help you any more than that Ryan No worries I hope that we do see you at the clinic at some point I hope so too That’s, uh, yeah It’s just like, fuck there’s no help out here, it’s just, fucking bullshit Unless you got, like, money, like, what fucking drug addict that has to do drugs everyday has money It’s frustrating, like I’m sure if his fucking kid was on opiates, he’s be in there like, fucking that Go get high, obviously What else is there to do? I’m just back to where I started, like, I don’t have any extra help any more, it just is what it is from before we met Nobody can fix anybody else right? They gotta fix themselves And, you know, I’ve had those experiences where, I’ve tried my best to help somebody out like, with my little brother, you know, he’s a fentanyl addict too, and I brought him out here and I bought his ticket up here and I brought him to treatment and everything I tried to do more work for his recovery than he was putting in And when he relapsed, it devastated me but, it gave me the knowledge that I can’t help everybody, no matter how hard I actually try for it And, I just saw him on the weekend actually he’s not doing, he’s not doing well He’s full blown again, so he’s getting kicked out, he’s going back to the streets which is probably the best thing for him cause, I know for my self to get clean I had to fall on hard times This is sad Everyone’s bottom is different right, I mean the pit is bottomless, we can keep going out we can keep getting worse for ourselves It’s just, you gotta hit that point where it’s not worth it anymore Straight up, if I could get high everyday and live the life that I am today, I would be doing it. But I can’t cause I give everything to the disease right, I give everything to fentanyl -It ain’t fucking bad And I wind up on the street with no friends, no family, no one to turn to and, you know, you can only sleep in a tent for so long before the choice comes in to to finish it off or keep sleeping in a tent Fuck, yeah, this is dope I mainly just like, stay up all the time and just take naps here and there But now, I feel like, I have a tent, and I feel like I’ll just be sleeping in here for hours I live in a tent now and it’s just, I don’t know Kinda just makes me realise, like, yeah, I’m 100% homeless now Like, I’m definitely not happy with where I’m at in life and I don’t enjoy this what so ever like, I might seem happy or whatever, I try to make the best of what it is but It’s killing me, and it’s killing my family. I miss my freinds like, I miss my normal life I miss working everyday I miss being free, I hate being a slave to this I don’t wanna do it anymore Now, there’s no one to blame but myself I’m the one that started doing em, I’m the one that continued doing em no one like, forced me to do it Honestly, if I can’t get clean at this point, I think I’ll just kill myself. I’m, I can’t do this any more Like, I’m killing myself anyway, why prolong it right? I’m seriously like, fed up with this, I can’t do it anymore I hate it Instead of buying fentanyls this year, I quit I saved up to go on a trip to Hawaii And, they enjoyed, my kids, my wife This was the best time, here, me and my son that’s when it really hit me I’m standing here from a year ago I was down, in Stand Off just walking around, lost my truck lost everything, I had no more money. Thinking, ‘How am I gonna get my next fix?’ And then Just the time of me and son standing there that made me really happy you know, that’s helped me, eh Thinking about it from a year ago to now I honestly thought it wasn’t gonna change I thought I was gonna, keep smoking cigarettes, all that But, I’ve quit everything, I’ve quit everything. Now, my next goal is to just, get off suboxone. That’s the next step