Harm reduction programs ineffectively approach a ‘life and death’ condition, like drug addiction...with these limiting qualifiers, “Recognizing that drug use cannot be completely eliminated….” Thus, the predefined need for harm reduction programs! In other words, hope and help are both limited and finite quantities and qualities, to a point! Endless hope, limitless help, and unbridled compassion don’t exist in this finite Universe of Harm Reduction. I need to ask, why not?
What if there was a way to actually help people stop using the drugs they are so dependent upon?
What if there was real hope for a better life, a healthier and happier life, for EVERY drug user?
What if there was a place beyond harm reduction; a place called, harm elimination; where total drug abstinence, comfortably existed for every drug user as a real possibility? An end to harm reduction programs!
Sure, sure, I know, there are so many unworkable and failure dependent drug addiction programs and therapies out-there; with zero-2% success rates as the norm; is it any wonder social agencies, Governments, corporations and, even every- day-people have lost hope in them?
My approach to this myth of failure is not a fantasy or just my optimistic reality; this is real, it is tangible, and, an observable actuality; this end condition of drug abstinence is realistically achievable; given the means to make every single and precious life matter. That’s the start and foundation for all of this. That EVERY life matters! And, it needs to matter to every one of us in part, and as a whole society! People need to be responsible for each other and help each other while giving each other hope in the process! We ALL need to be involved in the well-being of any of our societal members.
When we ‘just’ reduce the harm, we do not salvage the individual drug dependent user from their crippling drug use and its ill-effects. Instead, we just prolong their misery and suffering. They are suffering, every second of every waking day! Let’s address the real spiritual needs of the individual drug user, instead of their drug habit. Let’s zero-in on what’s ruining their lives, and not, that they are taking/using drugs in a harmful way to themselves, others and society!
Is this the best that we can do for them…these miracles of human existence, these wondrous beings of life…harm reduction?
Why? Because we ‘think’ we don’t have the money or the social will to go all-the-way, and take full- responsibility for that troubled and scarred individual drug user?
Instead, we offer doomed-to-fail and highly contrived, cookie-cutter solutions to this problem of drug addiction; allowing the users to continue on and on, eventually, the drug or associated lifestyle contraindications take their toll and their life!
Another classical/farcical definition for this no-end game is one offered by our Government social research scientists, ““Harm reduction” is a pragmatic, non-judgmental set of strategies to reduce individual and community harm caused by drug use. The focus is on taking incremental steps to reduce harm rather than on eliminating drug use. Abstinence may or may not be the end goal.” Thomas, G. (2005). Harm reduction for special populations: Harm reduction policies and programs for persons involved in the criminal justice system. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
As you can see the options for abstinence is not the focus, aim, goal or ‘life-saving application’ of these harm reduction programs. In the next posting, I will offer practical, affordable and highly workable solutions that we as a society and drug-users can work through together; cooperating responsibly and proactively with each other, to eliminate drug dependence; while creating together, a truly achievable and everlasting abstinence!