Alcohol to Opioids: Part 2

Curious Public goes on the road to visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit to talk with Christopher Mackie (Medical Officer of Health) and Ana Ning (Associate Professor in Sociology) about psychoactive substances in our community. In this episode we ask… * Are we in collective denial about the health impacts of alcohol? * Why are we removing tobacco displays from convenience stores and putting alcohol into grocery stores? * Will legalizing cannabis be a net gain or a net loss for society? * What are public health officials thinking about as they prepare for the legalization of cannabis? * Users, doctors, big pharma — who is to ‘blame’ for opioid crisis? * And much more… (This conversation is the second installment of

Alcohol to Opioids — an occasional series about drug use and society. You can also listen to the first discussion with Tara Bruno and Robert Solomon for more background.)

Guests

Christopher Mackie (@Healthmac) is the Medical Officer of Health for Middlesex-London and is the Chief Executive Officer of the Middlesex-London Health Unit. He previously served as the Associate Medical Officer Health for the City of Hamilton for four years. Dr. Mackie has published peer-reviewed papers and abstracts on a number of public health related issues, including vaccination policy, emergency planning, environmental health and child and youth mental health. Ana Ning is an Associate Professor in Sociology at King’s University College. Her research includes addiction treatment and harm reduction interventions, as well as the integration of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) in mainstream healthcare. She also studies traditional Chinese medicine and issues of evidence-based medicine model.

Art Changes People and People Change the World

According to the quote meme on the internet, the musician John Butler once said, “Art changes people and people change the world.” It also seems evident that events in the world inspires the art that people create. This reciprocal nature of society and human expression has mesmerized artists, researchers, activists, historians, and ethnographers for a long time.

So, let’s talk about art and society. How are artists of all kinds describing the world right now? How are art-based strategies helping researchers better understand the experiences of individuals and groups? How does the present shape art, and how does art shape the future?

The Panel

Eugenia Canas (@EugeniaCanas) co-coordinates the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion (CRHESI). She is a Health Information Science PhD Candidate, where she uses critical, participatory and art-based research approaches to understand issues of epistemic justice in the engagement of vulnerable populations. Eugenia holds clinical experience as an art therapist in child/adolescent oncology, working in hospital and community settings. She is a Doctoral Fellow with the ACCESS Open Minds Network at the Douglas Institute of Mental Health. She serves as mentor and facilitator in local and national research and knowledge translation initiatives, including the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s SPARK Program, the Wisdom to Action Network, and the Collaborative RESearch Team to study psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder (CREST.BD) .

Tom Cull (@waltercull) is the current Poet Laureate for the City of London. He grew up in Huron County alongside the Menesetung (Maitland) River. He teaches creative writing and American Studies at the University of Western Ontario, and runs Thames River Rally, a grassroots environmental group he cofounded with his partner Miriam Love. Tom has also served on the boards of the Urban League, Poetry London, and WordsFest. His chapbook, What the Badger Said, was published in 2013 by Baseline Press and his first full length collection of poems, entitled Bad Animals, is forthcoming from Insomniac Press (Spring, 2018). His writing has appeared in journals, anthologies, and he is the co-publisher of WordsFest Zine, an “instant” zine of occasional poetry celebrating London’s literary festival, Words.

Holly Painter (@HollyPoetry) is a spoken word artist, public speaker, and certified teacher. She is passionate about sharing her stories, inspiring audiences, and advocating for important causes through poetry. Holly has spoken to over fifty thousand youth in school and community settings and performed on stages across the country. She is the National Director of Spoken Word Canada, Director of London Poetry Slam, and a former Artist in Residence with Thames Valley District School Boad and London Arts Council.

As one of many citizens

As one of many citizens who depend on safe and accessible sidewalks for work and daily life — no less than motorists depend on safe roads — I wonder how much more tax we’d need to pay to become equal citizens to drivers in snow removal prioritization?

Is Hate a Public Health Emergency?

On Monday, December 11, Christopher Mackie (@Healthmac), Michele Manocchi (@manocchimichele), Jennifer O’Brien (@JeninLdnont), and myself discussed the question, Is Hate a Public Health Emergency? Does the metaphor of a medical emergency accurately depict our social climate? Or is calling racism and xenophobia a “public health emergency” simplistic, journalistic sensationalism that distracts us from the real work of understanding causes and solutions?

To get the conversation going, we read these three articles ahead of our time together:

Thanks once again, and always, to London Public Library for providing this program.

Notes