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Harm Reduction 102

Interference

It would be one thing if there was freedom for medical providers and people who use nicotine to utilize dramatically safer products. 

Unfortunately, Tobacco Harm Reduction efforts are being harmed by dangerous regulations, special interest groups, lobbyists, and significant misinformation campaigns. 

 

History Lesson:
Dangerous Regulations

For some, abstinence or prohibition is the only way forward when faced with risky behaviors.

At one point, condoms were made illegal in the US (see video) because of fears they would lead to more sexual promiscuity. A black market formed. People were even arrested.

It was not until World War I that society fully realized how dangerous these anti-condom regulations were. By the end of the war, the US military had diagnosed nearly 400,000 cases of syphilis and gonorrhea.

FEAR-Mongering 

In 1970, the Victorian parliament (state in Australia) made seat belts mandatory for drivers and front-seat passengers, the first legislation like it in the world. Anti-Seat Belt activists claimed that drivers would inevitably compensate for their increased safety by driving faster and more recklessly. Studies later showed that the overall reduction in crashes, deaths, and critical injuries were significant.

Reducing Deaths From OPIOiDS

Prohibition, stigmatization, and prevention policies around the world have failed to significantly reduce the deaths from drug overdoses.

Despite the fears that harm reduction will lead to more drug use, some communities like the Harm Reduction Action Center in Denver (see video) are now fighting to save lives by providing overdose prevention and sterile supplies.

It’s working.

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