Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

     There are unfortunately members of the so called harm reduction movement who are in fact invested in the systematic repression of drug user empowerment. Their reasons for "keeping drug users in their place" vary from misguided concepts of what addiction and recovery mean to active drug users, to blatant racism and stigmatization based on internalized stigma projecting outward, and even to base personal reward aka "poverty pimps" using grant money intended for the drug using community to enrich themselves. A prime example is the many members of the non profit industry who refuse to employ active drug users or let them have any say in the decision making process .
    Even when those decisions affect life and death situations for drug users they refuse to allow us to advocate for ourselves. Everywhere that Intravenous Drug Users congregate there should be 24/7 access to clean syringes but instead we see needle exchanges running in the same limited timeslots that they have for generations. Who does this benefit the NGO taking the same old grant money for their once a week two hour window or the drug user who has to resort to attempts to clean a used rig at 2a.m. in the morning?
   This is not to say that good and even great things are being done for drug users in the name of harm reduction. Distribution of needles and naloxone have saved thousands of drug users lives. It's the hangover of paternalistic attitudes that reinforces the belief that active drug users are limited in their abilities to do anything a "non using" person can do that is holding us back from truly enjoying the freedoms promised by the end of the drug war. So do us a favor stop holding us back and you can come forward with us. Or stay a shrouded enemy and reap the karma you sow.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Repost: An Ugly Truth in the War on Drugs

" it is time for the human rights movement to take a leading role in calling for an end to the war on drugs and the development of drug policies that advance rather than degrade human rights"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Beyond Harm Reduction: The Drug User Empowerment Movement

     One of the defining characteristics of the term "harm reduction" is that it can subjectively have many multiple meanings to the various groups and individuals involved in it's implementation as a health care strategy. Any treatment center or rehab can claim to be following a "harm reduction policy" despite the mode of treatment they employ being in actuality harmful to drug users including mandatory treatment that is not evidence based (AA/NA), or using psychologically traumatizing "behavior modification" techniques. Fortunately, harm reduction policies and procedures that encourage drug users to be autonomous and advocate for themselves are out there (peer/ drug user run needle exchanges, peer distributed naloxone/Narcan, and peer facilitated support groups for example) and should be encouraged at every level by drug user activists and their allies. The greatest obstacle to the broad implementation of truly helpful to drug users harm reduction policies is of course the systematic persecution of drug users via the enforcement of prohibition. In other words the most effective harm reduction policies will never be put into practice if drug users do not have the right to receive them.
    More to follow....

Monday, January 21, 2013

Call to Action: Free The Half Million Non Violent Drug Offenders In U.S. Prisons Now!

     Go see the film The House I Live In . Once you see the film we hope that you will understand why The Drug User Rights Action Network has determined that the time has come to demand the immediate release of all non-violent drug offenders incarcerated or on probation or parole in the U.S.A. To many this will seem an impossible, even unrealistic goal to even dream of much less speak out loud in this police state for drug users known as the United States of America. On a day of overflowing platitudes about the government taking care of it's citizens there is one very large group of oppressed people who are watching the inauguration (if they are so fortunate to have television) behind bars in cages where they were sent for the sale or possession of plants and chemicals.
     President Obama you are an admitted drug user, you are one of us why do you engage in our persecution? Or is your internalized stigma about the use of drugs so deep that you can ignore the plight of millions of your citizens you are swearing to protect? Is the money from the prison industrial lobby so great it can blind you to the great human tragedy called The Drug War?
Mr. President, if you truly want to be remembered forever as a man of the people, by the people, for the people, legalize drugs and free the half million.

Friday, January 11, 2013

SF Drug Users Union 01/11 by Kenneth Anderson | Blog Talk Radio

SF Drug Users Union 01/11 by Kenneth Anderson | Blog Talk Radio

Our guest is Johnny Lorenz who facilitates the San Francisco Drug Users Union Meetup, where current and former drug users share their successes and failures, and discuss harm reduction strategies they find helpful in moderating their use.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Deadly Stigma of Addiction | The Fix

The Deadly Stigma of Addiction | The Fix Fantastic article hits the stigma nail right on the head. Fighting stigma is is one of the primary goals of drug user organizing.