Text AA

A Realistic, Strategic, & Sustainable Vision to End the War on Drugs People

Greetings harm reduction comrades,

While the national opioid crisis rages on, the Administration continues its focus on scaling up prescription drug monitoring programs, interdiction, and advocating for the death penalty for people who sell drugs. Like you, we know that these kinds of supply side drug policies don’t work. Despite the billions spent on the drug war for the past 50 years, drugs still cascade over our borders and into the hands of people who want to use them. Harm reduction organizations operate within this reality serving the growing number of people who use drugs and restoring a bit of dignity and support in their lives.

As the war on drug users escalates, harm reduction organizations are working harder than ever to keep people who use drugs safe and alive. The resources available to us aren’t enough to keep up with the demand for our services and sometimes we’re faced with making impossible choices: extend our hours or try to address our crumbling infrastructures? Buy more supplies or pay workers livable wages and good benefits to help prevent them from burning out? Put out the daily fires, or turn our attention to the “long view” and come up with a realistic, strategic, and sustainable vision to end the war on drugs people?

We see you harm reduction community and we experience the same conflicts. We’ve decided that we can’t continue operating in “put out the fire” mode because the future of harm reduction depends on our ability to create and make good on a long-range plan. For the past several months we’ve been gathering data and listening to our community to inform ambitious but practical strategies that will advance harm reduction practices and policies. But we’ve also been looking inwardly because if we don’t have a strong infrastructure to support the work, we can’t sustain it or ourselves.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing what we’ve been working on and where we’re headed. You might find a couple of interesting ideas you’d like to use in your own organizations—and if you do, we’re here to help support you. Because serving our community is what we do.

In Solidarity,

Monique

Designed & Developed by Firefly Partners