Dean Wilson—a Crackdown editorial board member and  elder statesman of Vancouver’s drug user movement—thinks 2019 might be his most disappointing year as an activist. “We’ve accomplished absolutely fucking nothing, I’m incredibly depressed about it,” he recently told Garth Mullins. 

“2019, will be known to me as the year that nothing happened.” 

Dean’s right. We haven’t had a big win in a while. And 2019 feels a bit like a depressing blur. But it was also a year where we fought back. In the last Crackdown episode of the year, we tell four stories about surviving the drug war. Each story is one small moment–something that might otherwise be forgotten. Maybe these stories can tell us something about where we are now—and what we need to do in 2020. 

A full transcript of this episode is available here.

Jeff Louden’s arm, covered in Tagaderm. Photo by Garth Mullins.
Sam Fenn interviews Samona Marsh and Kevin Yake upstairs at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. Photo by Alexander Kim.
Garth Mullins sits with Ollie.  Photo by Dexter McMillan. 

This episode discusses suicide. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, you can reach out for help here: 



Crackdown is produced on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.  

Thank you to Nathan Crompton, Ivan Drury, Andrea Woo, Samara Mayer, and Andrew Ivsins.

Our Editorial Board is: Samona Marsh, Shelda Kastor, Greg Fess, Jeff Louden, Dean Wilson, Dave Murray, Al Fowler, Laura Shaver.  Rest in Peace Chereece Keewatin. 

Crackdown‘s host, writer and executive producer is Garth Mullins. 

Crackdown’s senior producer is Sam Fenn. 

Crackdown‘s producers are  Alexander Kim, Lisa Hale, Polly Leger and this month, Alex de Boer.

Crackdown‘s science advisor is Ryan McNeil, now of Yale University.

All of the music on today’s program was composed, preformed, and produced by Sam Fenn, Jacob Dryden, Kai Paulson, James Ash and Garth Mullins. Our theme song was written by Garth and  Sam with accompaniment from Dave Gens and Ben Appenheimer.  

Today’s episode also featured the song “Fuck You Pigs” by Trey Helton’s band The Fuck You Pigs.

We make this podcast with funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. And from our Patreon supporters. You can support us at

Follow us on twitter @crackdownpod. Our website is:

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