Eureka, Ca., (KIEM)- Harm reduction is a method of addressing drug use and overdose by empowering users, facilitating needle exchange, increasing access to overdose prevention drugs, and advocating for safe use facilities. It’s a controversial approach to managing the opoid crisis.
Dr. Taeko Frost, DRPh with the National Harm Reduction Coalition says, “It’s about restoring humanity and dignity and respect for people who use drugs so that they can make great decisions.”
“It’s not like it causes people to use more, what it does is it keeps people from dying. Kind of like seat belts.” Virginia Bass, Humboldt County District Four Supervisor explains. “When seat belts were invented, people didn’t start driving more recklessly because they thought they were invincible, but it did protect the people who got in accidents.”
Assistant Sociology Professor and Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR) Board member, Dr. Meredith Williams puts it this way: “We have a choice as Humboldt County. Who do we want to be in the face of this? Do we want to be the group that kicks people out, treats them as less than human, actually makes threats to people, harasses them? Or do we want to be a compassionate community that gives everyone a role and understands the value of humanity. Do we want to see people as humans or as problems?”
She also says, a film about safe consumption sites will be screened Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. in the Library at Humboldt State University.
For more on Harm Reduction: http://harmreduction.org/about-us/principles-of-harm-reduction/
For more from HACHR, visit them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HACHR707/