GHB poisoning: glass protectors that are not unanimous

GHB poisoning: glass protectors that are not unanimous

The “Check your glass” initiative aims to draw “attention to individual responsibilities” and encourage the adoption of safe behaviors, which moves away from collective awareness according to several.

Several organizations are not convinced that the new aluminum glass protector is the best approach to limit the phenomenon of unintentional intoxications with GHB or other drugs. Launched Thursday evening in Montreal by the Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and Éduc’alcool, the “Check your glass” initiative says it aims to draw “attention to individual responsibilities”, encouraging safe behavior. However, for some, it would be better to rely on a collective awareness approach against poisoning.

“This initiative is a setback,” says epidemiologist Kevin L’Espérance, who co-founded Sans oui, c’est non! in 2014. This campaign is a bandage on a bobo because we do not attack the aggressors and the people who do these things. Instead of getting to the root of the problem, people are being told to be on the lookout for a potential attack in a bar instead of being able to have a drink with a sense of security. We put the burden on the victims, and I don't think that's the right approach.”

An individual responsibility?

This opinion is shared by the organization Le Collectif social, originally of the Order an Angel protocol aimed at preventing these situations and helping people in difficulty during poisoning. The organization believes that this initiative is influenced more by an individual accountability approach than a collective accountability approach.

“I know that there are people who are happy to have this support when they are in a bar, supports the director general of the Collective, Andréanne St-Gelais. We understand that there are different ways to attack this problem, and it is certain that this measure will prevent attacks, but our organization is part of a perspective of collective responsibility rather than individual in order to avoid that people feel guilty when they have been drugged.”

The MP for Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, Manon Massé, strongly denounced this initiative, which raises awareness in the wrong place, according to the solidarity. “The testimonies are multiplying in the public space and all abound in the same direction: the date rape drug concerns everyone. So why release a campaign that still puts all the blame on the victims? It is absurd and insufficient,” she said.

A collective mobilization

In addition to preventing involuntary intoxication with GHB or other drugs, glass protectors have the function of limiting excessive consumption. It’s in this spirit that Éduc’alcool joined this initiative, true to its mandate to promote responsible behavior when using alcohol.

“Several people trade glasses alcohol standards for shootersto avoid watching their drink for too long, for fear of consuming illicit substances, specifies the general director of Éduc’alcool, Geneviève Desautels. This kind of reflex leads to harmful overconsumption in the short, medium and long term, in connection with alcohol poisoning. That’s why we put a QR code on the glass protectors, which we named Calcoolateur, in order to help people moderate their consumption.

Éduc’alcool has been the target of several criticisms regarding the “Check your glass” project. It is criticized in particular for placing the responsibility on individuals during their consumption instead of promoting collective awareness against intoxication and the repercussions of these actions on the victims. Ms. Desautels disagrees, maintaining that the individual glass protector is the result of collective work to make alcohol consumption safer.

“I find it a shame that we are told that this project is an individual responsibility only. An entire ecosystem has been mobilized: the Government of Quebec, the SPVM, Éduc’alcool and the many bar owners who have joined this pilot project to make their establishments safer for customers. This movement has generated a collective discussion in addition to creating an easy-to-use tool that reduces individual cases of intoxication, so I would say that it’s collective accountability at the same time as individual accountability.”< /p>

Over the next few months, 10,000 glass protectors will be distributed in licensed establishments in Montreal and at certain events. The pilot project will run until the end of August and the results will then be analyzed by Éduc’alcool in order to establish whether it is necessary to continue the distribution of glass protectors.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *