The Harm Reduction Hamsters Wheel

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The phone rings, the voice on the other end of the phone is the daughter I love, but I rarely hear her voice, unless there is a need, and this time was no different.

“I need a place to crash tonight!” My immediate response is, of course, but then I ask; “Why what’s wrong with your place?”

The story comes back, not a new one, but one that is still both sad and frustrating to hear… “Oh, you know, my boyfriend is going on his monthly ‘bender’ tonight and he’s locked me out of the house!”

This, I understood. This is the ‘Harm Reduction Hamster Wheel’ that my poly-drug and methadone dependent daughter and her boyfriend are on. They line-up for their methadone, but don’t take it; they on sell it to other addicts or, as was the usual case this month, save them up for a ‘binge’, all courtesy of tax-payer funded and government supplied opiates!

This long term drug use started as a naïve and somewhat rebellious teenager. She ‘bought’ the propaganda of the pro-drug lobbyists, that ‘fun’ and individual self-determination free of societal conventions can be found in the mouth of a ‘bong’ and a peer group school-yard ‘puff’ on a joint.

Thanks to this ongoing drug use, now decades, this precious family member is not only so dysfunction but must be heavily medicated on antipsychotics and they must be administered through a Community Based Order, by a clinician, or our messed up daughter will end up back in the Psych ward over Christmas. But, hey, they say this ‘system’ is ‘reducing her risk of harm and ‘possible death’; How – is my confused declaration!  There appears to be not only a lessening of any risk of her using any drug at any time but these ‘peddlers of prescription opiates’ are adding another drug to her regime and so adding to the risk. This process enables her to continue to use unabated and her health and well-being are shattered — and it would appear for the rest of her time reduced life.

Meanwhile, she is lovingly, but futilely, trying to bring a new born life into her chaotic unrequited world. Sadly, an unbroken cycle of what could have been a life well lived!

This self-indulgent choreography has now morphed into an enslavement to dependent processes that have only one perspective — the meeting of every felt need, regardless of what that means to society, relationships, family or even self.

Anonymous (Grieving and Loving Father)

Dalgarno CommentThis tragic and true story is by no means in the minority. This level of chaotic dysfunction is growing and growing because the National Strategy of Harm Minimisation has been sabotaged and hijacked by one-dimensional thinking and policy interpretation. The Full strategy of Harm minimisation is Demand Reduction, Supply Reduction and Recovery focused Harm Reduction with prevention and even abstinence as part of the mandate. Instead, we now have the term ‘harm reduction’ interchangeable with Harm Minimisation and in practice, it seems to have only one goal… Keep the drug user supplied and using all under the faux banner of ‘care’ and ‘kindness’. Yet this ‘version’ of care and kindness is only creating more users, greater use and then… the call for ‘decriminalisation’ because ‘so many people are using’ we need to make it ‘less stigmatised’ so they will use… less, or more, ‘safely’ or…?

It’s time to stop this appalling poorly managed Harm Reduction Hamster Wheel and truly work toward prevention and recovery so that all our citizens can live a productive and healthy life.

(Reprinted with permission from Dalgarno Institute)


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