Between the 25 anniversary of AIDS and questions about the future of Vancouver’s safe injection center, there are tons of articles on harm reduction lately. There’s one characterizing opponents of needle exchanges as indifferent to addict deaths, another finding that a crack paraphernalia distribution program cut disease transmission but increased drug use, another proposing drug maintenance programs as a response to street begging, and a few in support of the safe injection center. (Here, here and here.)
These are just a fraction of the articles that have come through my inbox lately. I was thinking this morning about all of this and was experiencing my usual frustration at the consistent failure to mention recovery and treatment (in that order) in these articles. It occurred to me that the article Jim and I wrote a few years ago was really a call for recovery-oriented harm reduction. This should be non-controversial, no? I suppose that the big point of contention is that we have a big prerequisite–community conditions that support recovery.