Out in the Streets

Dr. Jeff Turnbull gets a hug from Shelley, a client, after she gave him a Christmas card, at the Temporary Enhanced Shelter Program at the Shepherds of Good Hope in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (Photograph by Justin Tang)


Have you heard of Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull? If not, reading the following will give you a sense of who he is and the important work he is doing.

“At 9:30 a.m. on a bitingly cold early-winter morning, Jeffrey Turnbull is preparing to head out on rounds. From a second-floor window in the ramshackle offices of Ottawa Inner City Health, the Peace Tower is visible in the distance, but Turnbull gestures out over the nearer, nondescript rooftops of Lowertown, describing the long-established homeless shelters there—and the new supervised injection clinic—that he’s about to visit.

A few minutes later, he’s parking his SUV outside the Shepherds of Good Hope, a shelter and soup kitchen, leading a small team that includes a mental health nurse into what they just call “the trailer.” It’s a former construction trailer set up recently behind “the Sheps,” fitted out as a cramped but orderly space where drug addicts can inject themselves with health care workers standing by.

Even on this weekday morning, it’s busy. About 130 addicts used the trailer the previous day. Turnbull has a brief meeting with staff there, then strides next door to a clinic for homeless women…” Click here to read the full article from the Macleans.ca.

“Grey death?”

Much has been written in the news lately about Fentanyl, its effects and related addictions, overdoses, and fatalities. Unfortunately, there appears to be a new drug finding its way onto the scene. This drug, known as “Grey death,” is truly a mystery in terms of its contents and place of origin.

(CNN) — A new drug called “grey death” has been linked to a handful of lethal overdoses in the South — but no one knows exactly what’s in it or where it’s coming from. The drug, a mix of opioids, can kill in very small doses and looks like concrete mixing powder. “When I hear about something new like grey death, my first thought is, ‘Is there some novel compound we haven’t discovered yet?’ ” said Donna Iula, director of forensic chemistry at Cayman Chemical, a biotechnology company that works with federal and state crime labs to identify unknown street drugs.
Source: ‘Grey death:’ The powerfully fatal new drug that’s puzzling authorities

Click here to read the full article.

An Interesting Read

According to Carolyn Abraham:

What is clear is that North America’s baby boomers have found themselves in a perfect storm of self-destruction. For starters, boomers happened to reach the age of aches and pains just as highly addictive prescription opioid painkillers went mass market in the 1990s.

If you have not had the opportunity to read Abraham’s article entitled, “Against Opioid Abuse Among Baby Boomers,” click here to do so. 

In the Twittersphere 

The following @Pts4Chg tweet has generated some good conversation and idea generation in the Twittersphere and beyond.

As one individual tweeted, “Problem needs a systems approach. A great opportunity for AHS innovation lab.”

If you have not read the article referred to in the tweet, you may wish to do so. (Thanks, Sandi, for bringing this news story to our attention.)