So much of our time and energy seems to be spent refuting inaccurate information, speaking out against stigmatizing policies, and dealing with reactionary policy makers who seem incapable of simply saying “We’re sorry, we were wrong.” The worst part is that this takes away from the life-saving work that needs to be done.
This is an incredibly important moment nationally, and locally, to ensure we invest in strategies that we know work and not allow hysteria to guide our solutions to the overdose crisis. These stories cause very real harm: they perpetuate fear and stigma against people who use drugs resulting in negligent care, isolation and diversion of resources towards law enforcement and away from life-saving programs. A culture of increased criminalization, hostility and shame–all while wearing expensive hazmats suits, will do nothing to save lives.
To get back to the err … warning that I’ve received, you may take it with however many grains of salt you wish; that the brown acid that is circulating around us is not specifically too good. Err… it’s suggested that you do stay away from that. Of course it’s your own trip so be my guest, but err… please be advised that there is a warning on that one ok.
Person: Are you clean?
Me: What does that mean?
Person: You know are you sober?
Me: Do I have to be?
I feel like I asked a fair question.
University policies should instead aim to minimise harmful effects rather than simply condemn and prohibit them. This is important, because hard-line prohibitionist policies increase stigma and discourage engagement with support services.
Controlled usage is not usually fatal and abstinence is not immortality.