Harm Reduction

A few people have asked for thoughts about yesterday’s harm reduction post. I held back, intending to let it speak for itself and avoid appearing mean, but here goes.

I thought it did a great job illuminating the differences between Dawn Farm (drug-free, recovery-oriented services) and them. Not to say that we can’t learn anything from them, but from our perspective, I thought that their comments communicated the following:

  • a belief in addiction as a lifestyle choice (rather than loss of control or enslavement to a brain disease)
  • overwhelming skepticism about the capacity of addicts to recover
  • a fetishization of drug culture
  • vicarious derivation of “coolness” from contact and identification with addicts
  • a reduction of addicts to a culturally liberated hedonist caricature
  • the subtle bigotry of low expectations
  • enoblizing the suffering of addicts

This shouldn’t be perceived as an attempt to generally disparage harm reduction. I can support most harm reduction activities if they are conducted in a recovery-oriented manner. Those comments don’t reflect any interest in facilitating recovery.