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Fear Mongers Attack a NYC Harm Reduction Pamphlet that Saves Lives

Posted Jan 09 2010 4:21am

As I said, I can imagine circumstances where this could have some value in preventing illness and facilitating recovery, but I suspect that the people producing these materials do not share my goal of recovery.

I do not oppose harm reduction, if it's aligned with the goal of facilitating recovery.

I understand that there is scientific evidence demonstrating that HR reduces disease transmission and other health problems, but some of these advocates are very tone deaf. While accusing others of moral panic or fear mongering, they fail to comprehend the way many of us view addiction--as something akin to slavery due to compromised free will where drug use is concerned.

Would there be a basis of for criticizing programs targeting slaves to enhance their health and life satisfaction? On its face, helping improve health and wellbeing is a good thing, but wouldn't it be better to also be an abolishionist?

Some more narrow public health examples might be programs to educate and provide sterile cutting equipment to people who engage in self-mutilation or communities that practice female circumcision.

Is it unreasonable to question these responses to these problems? Is it too much to ask that the professional helpers participating in these responses seek to facilitate an end to the behavior? Why is that so controversial?

On the other hand, a reader offered the following comment:
Unfortunately the tone and language of the article would seem to suggest that some "critics" do seem guilty of judgmentalness, if not exactly "moral panic"
  • "offers dope fiends such useful advice"
  • "spells out how junkies should ready their fix"
if the article was describing advice for hypertensives or diabetics the language would likely be a little more respectful.

Jane Doe :)

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