Drug deaths in Scotland: hope on the horizon?

This week in Scotland we’ve been reeling from the impact of the publication of the 2019 drug-related death statistics. The awful graphs are everywhere, their bright colours standing in sharp contrast to the horror they relate. Our feelings clamour for attention, a powerful mixture of anger, grief, bewilderment and shame.  The newspapers are full of … Continue reading Drug deaths in Scotland: hope on the horizon?

Throwback Sunday – Pessimistic Paternalism

I'm doubling up this week with two posts on harm reduction from December 2006. I've written often about the subtle bigotry of low expectations, these two posts illustrate that concern. (I like my reference to "pessimistic paternalism disguised as compassionate pragmatism.") ======================== Debate on abstinence A horrifying excerpt from a debate in a British treatment provider magazine. … Continue reading Throwback Sunday – Pessimistic Paternalism

The benefits of harm reduction are not as obvious as they seem

Theodore Dalrymple points out the inconsistency in the British Medical Journal's vigorous advocacy for harm reduction where heroin is concerned and its squeamishness with harm reduction for nicotine. He pulls a passage from BMJ and inserts comments: What, then, does the BMJ, so much in favour of harm reduction for heroin addicts, say about harm reduction … Continue reading The benefits of harm reduction are not as obvious as they seem