Oh yes, that “terrible, evil” harm reduction. I spent 20 years addicted to Rx opiates and cycled my way through 13 different rehabs, several at taxpayer expense, all of which ignored the physical, medical aspects of the disorder and simply urged me to pray, turn it over to “God”, pray some more, meditate, talk about my childhood, pray some more, color pictures of flowers (art therapy) and beat empty chairs with nerf bats while railing against whatever grudges I could come up with against my parents (psychodrama), and read “literature” written by a stockbroker back in 1935 regarding his personal opinion on how to cure alcoholism (which I did not have) by finding God. I don’t think most people even realize what actually serves as abstinence based treatment in most places. Though I threw myself into this “treatment” wholeheartedly, it failed, as it does for approximately 85% or more of those who undergo it.
Finally I found methadone treatment, where I have been for almost six years now. I have gone from being unemployed, broke, sick and desperate to being a full time employee for 5 years with a college degree, I own my own home in the suburbs, take good care of my family and myself, pay all my own bills on time including my own clinic bill and have been free of all illict drugs since my first day of treatment. That I take a daily medication to control the symptoms of a chronic disorder of the brain chemistry does not mean my recovery is any less “real” or authentic than anyone else’s. The “root causes” of my addiction were not childhood traumas, character defects or spiritual maladies—it was a deficiency in endorphins (the body’s natural opiates) that I was attempting—badly—to self-medicate. Once properly treated for this disorder, I returned to the normal, law abiding life I had been raised to live. I only wish it could have been sooner, before I lost so much to the ravages of the disease and the mistreatment thereof.” —
This is a comment left on a health blog post on The Guardian’s website. A good reminder that it is important to talk to people who are directly affected whenever considering a health intervention of any kind.
Thanks to morningstar for asking about the comments feature. I completely overlooked that option! Anyway, Disqus comments are now enabled. Hooray!
So I tried enabling comments. The theme I use has an option to let people respond to the posts. Could someone check if it is working? I can’t seem to find a comment/reply button/area, etc.
The LA Times is going to town on the Xalisco (north of Puerto Vallarta!) heroin dealers, in their series on the Evil Scary Super-Black-Tar Heroin, delivering an award to these dealers for Excellent Drug Business Practices. (This is part of the paper’s very dramatic MEXICO DRUG WAR extravaganza.) Our hardworking Mexican friends take phone orders; deliver by car; they are not particularly prone to violence or gun-toting; they take customer satisfaction surveys; they sell in smaller amounts; they have cut consumer prices in half; and their heroin is just better. Sounds awesome!
What does this all mean? Your mileage may vary, but it means they are creating heroin users, according to the LA Times. “Competition among the networks has reduced prices, further spreading heroin addiction.” Also: their business practices are described as “often creating demand for heroin where there was little or none.”
Does that make sense? Do people who don’t want to do heroin start doing it because it is a good bargain?
I assume that is the same sort of reasoning in which sex education makes teenagers into sluts and a lack of non-firebombed abortion clinics makes everyone kill their babies.
Meanwhile, the facts are that where these black tar heroin dealers establish themselves, the numbers of people entering drug treatment and people overdosing rise dramatically. Thing is, only one of those things is a bad thing.
Makes a very good point. While the negative result of this improved business model (increased rate of overdose) is unfortunate, the operation itself might be a good way to reduce violence associated with the drug dealing.
My high school had a SADD chapter, too, but it was a voluntary, after school kind of thing. From a harm reduction standpoint, forced participation would not be the most effective way to go about the issue.
A quick Google search resulted in some claims that SADD operates on a harm reduction model. However, looking at the SADD website shows more of a harm elimination approach. Apparently, they do not believe that one can “break the law responsibly”. There are obvious legal implications of this, so the national office may be required to make this disclaimer. Local chapters may be a little more lenient/understanding, but you would have to speak with the local chapter heads for that information. Based on the website, though, the only harm reduction oriented piece is their famed Contract for Life. If your HS alma mater focuses mostly on this piece, it may not be so bad.
I could not find any data really to back up either side of the argument. There aren’t any effectiveness studies, and the SADD website only has the “latest” statistics regarding drug use. It would have been nice to see results of their efforts.
You may be interested in checking out the Safety First website. It’s a project run by the Drug Policy Alliance. Their approach to teen substance abuse is more harm reduction based.
Anyway, good luck! I will ask around the office and see what the HRC Facebook friends have to say about it.
I try to exert restraint by only reblogging some, but liking everything.
Thanks for the support! Do you know of any other non-profit orgs and activist orgs that are on tumblr? It would be so great to build a network on tumblr!
FLINT, Michigan — Police are investigating the details of a man’s death that occurred 3 p.m. today at 1310 Huron Street.
The man, in his 50s according to scanner traffic, died of a heroin overdose, and was pronounced dead at Hurley Medical Center, said Flint police Sgt. David Forystek.
A male suspect is in custody in relation to the death, said Flint police Sgt. David Forystek.
Forystek said he might seek homicide charges against the suspect following further investigation in what could be the first Flint homicide case of the year.” —
So, basically, the police must be jonesing for a homicide case? Maybe that’s being too harsh, though. It doesn’t seem like any other details have been released.
What’s slightly more bothersome is that the man died in the hospital. Do you think they had access to Naloxone?
While this isn’t a high-profile story or anything, I would be pretty interested in following it closer and seeing what the details of homicide charges are.