Heroin for dummies

Responses to this will be interesting to watch. I’m certain that people who object will be accused of moral panic or something like it.

I’m open to non-judgmental outreach harm reduction for the purpose of building relationships and gradually engaging people into recovery.
I’d like to know how these materials are being used. Are they in the hands of hopeful recovery-informed outreach workers who are building relationships and building motivation to recover? Or, something else?
I’ve posted about gradualism and recovery-oriented harm reduction before.

I’ve been thinking about a model of recovery-oriented harm reductionthat would address the historic failings of abstinence-oriented and harm reduction services. The idea is that it would provide recovery (for addicts only) as an organizing and unifying construct for treatment and harm reduction services. Admittedly, these judgments of the historic failings are my own and represent the perspective of a Midwestern U.S. recovery-oriented provider:

  • an emphasis on client choice–no coercion
  • all drug use is not addiction
  • addiction is an illness characterized by loss of control
  • for those with addiction, full recovery is the ideal outcome
  • the concept of recovery is inclusive — can include partial, serial, etc.
  • recovery is possible for any addict
  • all services should communicate hope for recovery–recognizing that hope-based interventions are essential for enhancing motivation to recover
  • incremental and radical change should be supported and affirmed
  • while incremental changes are validated and supported, they are not to be treated as an end-point
  • such a system would aggressively deal with countertransference–some people may impose their own recovery path on clients, others might enjoy vicarious nonconformity through clients

5 thoughts on “Heroin for dummies

  1. I don't get it. Heroin users aren't going to read that. I believe heroin addicts know where to go for every free resource, including detox, recovery, food, shelter, free needles, etc. If someone is offering it up for free, the junky knows about it. The trick is keeping them in recovery when they take a step in that direction. And that takes implementation of your ideas…and money.

  2. As a heroin addict I have always been insulted by this type of literature. Not only is it juvenile and condescending, but it is also ridiculous and naive.When you have been locked in a dirty basement for weeks, shooting speed balls into your forehead,neck and groin while squeezing puss from your arms and hiding from the shadows a bleeping pamphlet ain't going to help.Thanks a lot guys!

  3. I like your list. The one that really had me nodding though was the one that reads:"While incremental changes are to be validated and supported, they are not to be treated as an end point".I observe that happening a lot. It feels like a very low set of the bar.

  4. thanks for the post. I am always open to new ideas, and concepts in the field of recovery. No two addicts are alike so the more avenues to recovery the better

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