Thursday, June 21, 2012


By now, most of you have read Pete McMartin's column in today's Vancouver Sun about Harm Reduction.

You might also be encouraged by these two comments that were emailed to me:

Comments: Re: Article “Can David Berner reduce Harm Reduction”

Addiction is Hell and Harm Reduction is an invitation to extend your stay in that Hell

I am familiar with that hell and I am incredibly grateful that my family and my workplace did not believe in “harm reduction” or I would not be writing this letter today. Many on the east side do not have families or workplaces to pressure them into treatment but funding a guaranteed hell is no answer when that money could go to providing greater access to detox and treatment.
Harm reduction uses the taxpayer’s money to keep the addict sick!! This method also perpetuates the notion that the addict doesn’t need to change – but we do!!  I had blamed those around me for my own addiction and all the problems that came with it – if everyone else would change my life would be fine! Maybe they should have reduced the speed limits on my street to protect me when I was in addiction!!
 To offer the addict anything but the truth is a disservice to him and robs him of the hope of recovery. The truth is that he is gravely ill and there is no “middle of the road” solution. Treatment Centers or facilities that offer a spiritual answer help an addict to take responsibility for where he is while offering him a doorway out of hell to a life that is incredibly more wonderful than he could ever imagine.

Barb R

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Comments: I just read the article,"McMartin: Can David Berner reduce harm reduction?" posted in the Vancouver Sun. I couldn't agree with you more, David.
It's so true that, "politicians and academics haven’t been grounded in the dirty practicalities of addiction".
I was once brainwashed and seduced by the arguments for 'Harm Reduction' and then I started working in the DTES. It wasn't long before I realized Harm Reduction didn't work and that all we were doing was helping people stay stuck.
I soon put it together that there were organizations out there that supported Harm Reduction because if people were all of a sudden getting clean, they would be out of business. And that is exactly what Harm Reduction has become: a business. It's starting to make me sick.
Ironically, this article came out just as I was preaching to others about how futile Harm Reduction is.

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