Nurses for Safe Renewable Power

Looking for a healthy environment for everyone

Real health problems in Ontario: poverty, drug abuse

We’re going to go off-topic here for a couple of days, just to get some perspective on the Ontario government “coal is killing people” mantra which they use to justify paying billions to huge corporations to build thousands of inefficient, expensive and unnecessary industrial-scale wind turbines which do produce noise and vibration.

Coal is essentially NOT being used in Ontario at all at the moment, so using coal-fired power generation as an excuse for anything is ridiculous.

But we’re not laughing. There are other–huge–health-related problems in Ontario. We know that if you’re looking for a major cause of death, you’ll look at smoking which causes cardiovascular disease as well as cancer.

But here, from Eagle Watch, is a description of another problem: poverty, psychological distress and drug abuse in our First Nations communities. First Nations peoples have dramatically higher rates of heart disease and diabetes–it is a national shame. Remember that Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers subsidize industrial wind power generation by $500,000 per turbine per year…what good would that money do if it were directed at reducing the suffering of our indigenous peoples? If the RNAO wants a political cause to pick up, and an economic issue to research and comment on, this would be better than coal.

Nurses for Safe Renewable Power

From the Eagle Watch #224

The Oxycontin Scourge
A Sad Commentary
May 9, 2012

It was really disturbing to see a Canadian Press article that spotlighted drug addicts in one Indigenous community.  Grade 6 students wrote an open letter to their parents, begging them to stop using drugs.  The media picked up on it. :-\

The children want their mothers and fathers to “stop because it hurts our family and we don’t like when we’re angry.” They describe their pain, saying they “feel unloved and depressed when you’re not with us.  We feel unhappy and helpless.  We feel that we don’t know what to do to help you stop doing Drug.” 

Grade 6 students are about 11 years old, vulnerable and going into puberty, a time of great change for them personally.

Such news is upsetting in and of itself.  We were also distressed at the way the article focuses on one Indigenous community, a “rez”.  In fact, a national epidemic of oxycontin addiction is taking place.  Immigrants, settlers and Indigenous are all affected.  If you don’t know about it, you’re a lucky ostrich. =-O

Oxycontin, a powerful opioid, is prescribed by doctors for severe pain.  It is extremely addictive like heroin, morphine and all opiates.  With each use, more is needed as a tolerance is quickly built up along with the intense craving for more.  Oxycontin is worse than firewater, heroin and the demon crack cocaine.

Oxycontin has a mind numbing effect.  Many people in desperate self medicating, find it helps them to block out their mental anguish and psychological torment.  The homeless, the unemployed, the abuse survivor and the wage slave can all look forward to turning the world off when they pop an oxy.  After a short while, the user doesn’t want to talk to anyone and shuns other people.

This is a sure sign to family and friends that oxy may be in the picture.  Of course, young children don’t understand this and tend to blame themselves.  The scourge of oxy has been hitting families everywhere and people of all ethnicity wherever the drug-pusher doctors are at work.

Many Indigenous people in the North come to hospitals in Kingston and Toronto for regular treatments like dialysis.  It is here in the cities they get their drugs too.

Pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma who introduced oxycontin in 1995, certainly knew what they were producing and profiting from.  By the time oxy was hitting the streets, one pill was about $25 for a weekend of blank, blissful oblivion.  It’s a kind of slow suicide.

Now that the monster drug has been taken off the market, street prices for the scarce pill are soaring to as much as $1,000.  What will desperate sick people do to get it or a substitute???  The withdrawal is said to be brutal.

Certainly, these people need help even if only to protect their children, their families and other people in the community from their desperate behaviour.

In our experience and observation, the rehab programs are seldom helpful.  Somebody is profiting from them.  Many people go cold turkey on their own but many are too lost, too weakened to do this. Family support is critical but can be overwhelmed.  Sometimes the entire family is afflicted.

Treatment is an idealism when the conditions leading to the substance abuse/self abuse/addiction continue.  For many Indigenous people on the rez or in the big “shitty”, Life seems to offer little hope for the Future, little opportunity for the Present and a huge burden of the Past that is an agony to contemplate.

Each disempowered person needs to find a way to do something to bring change, positive change, into her/his life.  It could be rehab, a healing circle or simply rising to greet the Sun in the morning.  Small successes can be built upon.

Each day needs to be greeted with Thanks for the things we do have.  Life is a gift.  A Child is a Blessing.  A clear mind is your best tool and weapon.

When things are going very badly in our lives and we see no escape, we need to remember our Ancestors, how they got through so that we could be here now.  We need to remember how we have to keep lookin out for the future generations.  No matter how mundane that may sound or how many times we hear it said, this is the essence of our Struggle.

Indigenous communities are growing in spite of all the horrors ongoing and against all odds.  The Imperialists are thrashing in their death throes.  All their power to kill is now their Swan Song.
Hold on a little longer.  We’re going to be strong again.


We welcome your feedback!  Forward, post and consider printing for your cyberphobic friends and relatives.  Be sure to include our contact info.

The Eagle Watch Newsletter is sent to interested individuals, both Indigenous and nonNative, politicians especially the Canadian ones and an assortment of English language media.  It is also sometimes translated into French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Russian and other languages.

Painkiller addiction slams First Nations
April 16, 2012 – 4:19am By HEATHER SCOFFIELD The Canadian Press
Opium – OxyContin Information

😉 If you fall off the wagon, don’t wallow in guilt and shame.  Get up and try again!!

Email us at and follow us on Twitter at nurses4safepwr


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