I can’t quite grasp the level of ignorance with people in regards to harm reduction. I’m going to attempt to break this down in a way people who may not even be sympathetic to those in active addiction may understand – if they have ears to hear, which many do not. If not, just move along.
I have heard people ask (or state) this so often. “If you’re handing someone clean rig kits, isn’t that just enabling them to use?” No asshole. People are going to use until they are ready for help. What providing clean paraphernalia does is prevent them from using toilet or puddle water (or worse, yup I’ve heard worse) to shoot up with. The clean needles should be a no brainer, but apparently not to some. By helping reduce the general spread of diseases like HIV and HEP C, we are potentially preventing you or your kid from contracting this.
Look at the “new” faces of addiction everywhere. Many look like the “girl or boy next door”. All ages, races and genders are affected. Could you say for certain you could pick someone out of a crowd with Substance Abuse Disorder? Doubtful. So you’re welcome.
By assisting people to use as safely as possible, not only are we helping prolong someone’s life, because you can’t help a dead person, saving them the torment of horrible abscesses, sepsis, endocarditis, loss of limbs (the list could go on), but we are saving tax dollars spent on healthcare. Many in active addiction in my state are on Medicaid. Have you been in the hospital or ER lately? Go look at the bill. So again, you’re welcome.
Naloxone. I CANNOT and never will understand for the LIFE of me why people bash this. I don’t know of any other life saving medications dispensed that people give anyone shit about other than this. I really can’t think of one. All I will say is think of all the people that are potentially impacted by the loss of one life. I’ll wait. How many would care if you died?
Every single life matters. And it takes as long as it takes for someone to recover from addiction, if they are given the opportunity. I don’t care if you are Narcan’d once or 100 times. It simply takes as long as it takes. That’s it. I won’t sit and make all the comparisons to every other medical problem people make much worse for themselves and require medications for every day, because in my opinion justification like that is not needed. But Naloxone is. Carry it. Someone you love may have a secret problem. You may find a person who has OD’d in their car, a public restroom, at work, anywhere really, and THEY MATTER! The 174 people a day currently dying from overdose in the US MATTERED!
Most importantly to me though is the relationships one is able to build with people by providing them with clean supplies and kindness. That gives them someone they trust to go to if they decide to get help. So I guess harm reduction does enable. It enables people to stay as safe as possible, and enables them with someone to go to for help if they so choose.
I stand corrected.