Thursday, November 6, 2014

Harm Reduction Programs & Why They Fail To Achieve Permanent Results

I applaud the goals and intentions of the Harm Reduction Programs; including, its many dedicated staff and hard working Harm Reduction Program volunteers. These programs help save lives and make our communities a lot safer and disease free; as infections and contagion are also dramatically reduced! Yet, I can’t help wondering in theory at least; is this the best we can do for that valuable human being-the drug user, we are supposed to be helping? 

Or, are we just providing a fiscally and politically correct, band-aid solution, as a means of social engineering and population control? To weed out the sickly and mentally unsound; the impoverished and drug dependent; while making and creating the illusion that something is actually being done of permanence and hope. Personally speaking, in my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth!

Honestly though, throwing a bit of money at a problem like this (drug addiction), is about the same order of magnitude as our current and prolonged problems as a nation; regarding terrorist threats and their tragic effects! It will not help us win any real victories or prevent the bombing of innocent women and children over there in the Middle East! War is war, the body counts are high, and tragically, people become displaced, robbed and raped, tortured and brutalized, during this whole maddening and dehumanizing process!

Like an addict that becomes addicted for life; no hope for a better life; no real chance of becoming a better person; imagine if you will; no reason to want a freer life, without being an addict for the rest of their life! Mostly living poor, with poor hygiene and poor living conditions; while being forced by other conditions and circumstance, to eat devalued, denatured, sugar-laden, greasy, fatty and salty foods; that our Government and social agencies are more than happy to dish out!

Then, on the front lines of some of these agencies, where all the action really happens; it’s all about budgeting, scrimping and fighting for ‘dollars and cents’; trying their best to provide some measure of hope and help. Unfortunately, with zero ‘true’ nutrition available from the food these agencies serve! How is a valuable human being (drug user), supposed to get healthy and live a long and productive life?

An addicts’ diet, like their lifestyle, is limited by many means. Their relationships are fragile and emotionally explosive, and their habits force them to make many compromises; while giving them added stress and pain as they deal with getting the money to feed their daily addictions! I am NOT judging, just stating the facts as I see them and have experienced them first hand and, for decades on end. You know, from the school of hard-knocks, living on/off the streets myself and seeing all this harmful, 'harm reduction programs,' play themselves out, for well over a decade now!

I need to ask, why are we advocating, providing and educating for the ‘safer use’ of drugs; for what, the ongoing needs of even ‘other’ social agencies and programs, to help facilitate the further use of drugs; but, in a bit safer way? While the addict remains a helpless prisoner to their drugs for the rest of his/her life! Sad but true fact!

I am in favor of saner, longer term and, more productive solutions; where the addict becomes a non-addict for the rest of their live-long-days! Is that too much of a radical idea? Is it subversive of me to suggest we treat these addicts like ‘valuable human beings’; to save/salvage their lives from the crippling effects of their almost guaranteed lifetime drug dependence; including, their sometimes deadly and untimely consequences?

Shouldn't we be focusing on a more permanent solution to this age-old drug problem? Haven’t we all realized by now, that most of the current drug programs and rehabs out there are not working; they, like our jail inmates, have a high rate of re-offending! Sanely, as I see it; if we actually cared about the value of a human being; the only true way to harm reduction and, to finally escape from the effects of drug dependence is by way of drug abstinence! To finally rid oneself of that diseased monkey on their back once and for all PERMANENTLY!


  1. A wound scars, yet remains there. You expect chemical dependence to be illusory, and not scar. There is no permanent solution to dysfunction, in the body, nature, or society. There is only death and new life. Rather than euphemisms, maybe you should, ya know, make a theory on why people abuse/cope/escape in the first place."The monkey is off my back, but the circus never left town." - every recovering addict.