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.