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‘Harm Reduction Opposed To Demand Reduction’

By Teresa Reile

The War on Drugs is fake and the model used today in the ‘War Against Drugs” is a losing proposition for both sides of the equation and is increasing drug use in America.  Strong statement but nevertheless true.

It is not a War on Drugs, it is a War on People. More attention should be given to rebuilding relationships after addiction. Some people are more upset to see a dog whimpering than they are to see human suffering. The model used in this fake war, called ‘harm reduction’, is a false premise and fake narrative.  We will examine it here.

What is Harm Reduction?  Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.  –Harm Reduction Coalition

Sounds innocuous enough.  But let’s examine this further:

‘Reducing negative consequences associated with drug use” – no mention of helping the person get off the drugs.

‘Respect for the the rights of people who use drugs’ – In other words, doing drugs is ok.  Killing yourself with these drugs is ok.   What about the rights of the people who are around the people on drugs, or the degradation caused by the drugs themselves?

This is just the first sentence of this useless model that does nothing to stem the tide of drug use.  The rest of the statements are just as looney as the first.  But nowhere in the model does it state that a solution would be to help the person stop taking drugs.  Obviously this is a scam of the highest order.

The  ‘Harm Reduction’ model addresses drug addiction as a ‘disease’ with no cure and therefore, the pain of the sufferer must be eased by giving them different drugs, free needles and places for them to do their drugs without intervention.

Drugs CAUSE disease. So, to use drugs to ‘treat’ the addiction which is caused by the drugs is erroneous and illogical.

To give a person a different drug when they are addicted to one already is not only NOT less harmful, but it is criminal.  What is the actual intent behind this?  To keep the person on drugs of course.

If the powers that be truly wanted to handle the drug problem, they would simply handle it.  The fact that it is getting worse is testament to the fact that they really have absolutely no intention of doing so.

The same things have been being done for years and what is being done is not working.  One would think that it would be time to do something different.

‘Demand Reduction’ rather than ‘Harm Reduction’ makes a lot more sense.  If the demand for something is simply not there, then we wouldn’t have a glut of that thing society.  However, the thinking of ‘legalize drugs’, legalize marijuana’, give out free needles, build injection sites so they can kill themselves while there is a custodian overseeing it is nothing more than pure idiocy.

There is literally billions and billions of dollars at stake if people get off of drugs.  If people were healthy, the drug pushers think they would have no income. Lunacy.  If they weren’t so busy making money off of killing people, in their free time, maybe they could figure out how to do something constructive.

In some parts of China, the doctor does not get paid if his patients are sick.  He only gets paid when they are well.  This is a wonderful system that keeps the population happy, healthy and productive.  It is the right way to do things.  We are doing it backward here.

Too many people are dying from this ‘War on Drugs’ with their useless ‘Harm Reduction’ nonsense.

Drug overdose deaths in the United States increased 11.4% from 2014 to 2015 resulting in 52,404 deaths in 2015, including 33,091 (63.1%) that involved an opioid.

Where is the outrage?  People are in apathy about other people.  People get more upset about how animals are treated than they do with how other humans are being treated.  That is simply unacceptable.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 64,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses in 2016, a 30 percent increase from the year before. Synthetic opioid overdoses killed 20,000 of them. Opioid overdose deaths are so numerous they have helped drive down U.S. life expectancy.

According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 72,000 people in the US are predicted to have died from drug overdoses in 2017 — nearly 200 a day.

One can easily see that the harm reduction model is a farce.  Fake science.  Demand Reduction is the answer.  Get rid of the drugs and they won’t be a problem to begin with.

About the author

Teresa Reile

Teresa is a strong leader having worked closely with Nobel Peace Prize Nominees, business and entertainment icons, political and religious leaders the world over.


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  • Boy, are you naive. And I should point out, this “article” is little more than op-ed. It is not reporting. It is not unbiased. Teresa Reile molded a study here, a poll there, shaping them around her prejudiced (already-formed) opinion.

    She said one, and only one, thing that I agree with. That’s that if the powers that be wanted to get rid of the drugs, they could and would. Trouble is, the puppetmasters are the dealers. And they know EXACTLY what they’re doing. Population control, especially of minorities, has long been an agenda. And if you’re white and “weak”, to hell with you, too. You might be aghast to realize that bootstrapping and strong-arm tactics don’t work with mental illness and addiction.

    NEWS FLASH: DRUGS ARE NOT GOING AWAY. EVER. As long as humankind exists and depression and abuse and poverty and all those other seeds of misery exist, the human mind will seek alleviation. You can burn every poppy field on the planet and people will simply go to synthetics. So UNTIL SHANGRI-LA IS REVEALED humans will use. What we CAN do is offer solutions, provide hygenic avenues to safeguard all, and love them regardless of their flaws and with full awareness of our own, which may be different, abundant, but – wow – really fortunately for US – often invisible so not stigmatized and DEFINITELY not criminalized.

  • While I must admit your article appears to be half-baked and poorly edited, it did get me thinking. I would have gone into further detail about your thoughts on demand reduction, but I guess that’s why it made me think. I do not agree that harm reduction is without merit. Legalizing marijuana has been proven to reduce the use of more serious drugs in areas where it is legal and reduce the use of marijuana of underage kids. However, you may be onto something with demand reduction. I’ve tried to think of ways to reduce demand and what i’ve thought of was educational commercials such as the commercials the government had funded to reduce cigarette use. Drug use has become a part of culture like cigarettes in the past and so tackling the culture and beliefs on drugs may be the answer. I feel a big part of the strategy to fight the war on drugs has been reducing the supply, but that has been a massive failure. And the current strategy has been harm reduction, which works to a degree but demand reduction seems to be the next big idea. Of all things, I would not take away choices because as we’ve seen in American history, prohibition of alcohol did not really stop people from drinking. There is a fine line from keeping people from having something versus making people not want something so that they ultimately do not seek it. I would also have to believe that this would be a helpful way to fight terrorism. We’ve found that in the war on terror, the number of terrorists killed does not necessarily represent success. We’ve also tried to closely monitor American, Canadian and European citizens and try to prevent them from joining as extremists however, some fall through the cracks. I would argue that reducing demand or desire to become radicalized may be the answer to the war on terror. By changing the culture and creating an intolerance for terrorism, maybe one day, we can defeat the growing population of terrorism. In both cases, I do feel that reduction of demand would be the most impactful but also that harm reduction does have its place. I believe harm reduction takes into account other environmental causes aside from culture or peer pressure. In drug use, causes of motivation go beyond culture, it can also relate to mental health and trauma, physical pain, family support, and genetics. And to those, I would say reducing demand and supply may not be enough and that is where harm reduction comes in as well as other social services. As for terrorism, I do believe it can rise from culture perhaps from anger, trauma, oppression, discrimination, lack of human rights, lack of tolerance for others but also from mental health issues, war, and poverty, which create a culture of violence. To me, individuals may have issues, but when you see masses with an issue such as terrorism or a drug epidemic, I do believe a large part of the problem is cultural. Demand reduction seems to tackle the larger numbers whereas tackling the supply and using harm reduction is more of a drop in the bucket.

  • Hi Teresa — Your passion to solve this problem is inspiring. I’m confused about one thing though. You say, “Get rid of the drugs and they won’t be a problem to begin with.” How do you propose to get rid of the drugs? I must have missed that. Needless to say, billions of dollars, millions of lives, untold suffering by cops, communities and the war between them, and the human rights of all Americans have all been sacrificed in the name of the “War on Drugs” in an effort to get rid of drugs — all to no avail. What is your plan?

  • Teresa, I think it is really questionable of you to post this opinion piece without disclosing that you are in a position of power and authority in Scientology and that your “opinion” is informed by Scientology’s “make the world a drug free place” campaign. Your bio contends that you are a strong leader and activist, but what I found about you was that you are the head of the Buffalo chapter of Scientology and some confusing information regarding your role in covering up that a man who viciously murdered his mother was an active member of your scientology group. I’m glad the internet exists and I can discover your true identity and motivations. I’m guessing that the man who commended your article has beliefs similar to your own. Please stick with space ships and Tom Cruise and let others deal with drug and alcohol use problems.

  • Wow. I’m glad you show no research to back up your false claims and highly refuted opinions. Harm reduction saves lives. As a social worker, I know that practicing harm reduction with clients allows people who use drugs to build rapport with people who are compassionate towards them. Read some articles instead of spouting this crap.

  • Indeed, I agree with all the comments that this is perhaps one of the most ill-informed and harmful articles that I have ever read on the topic of drug treatment.

    So let’s actually talk about where Teresa gets at least someting half way right. And that is when she says that the War on Drugs isn’t working. This is absolutely true. The more the goverment restricts a drug/ makes access to it more difficult/ prohibitions it, the worse the illegal black market on the drug becomes.

    This is because attempting to restrict access to a drug that adults want in our modern society with world-wide markets is for practical purposes impossible. There are a lot of models that prove this, besides just looking around and seeing rather than getting the OD death rate has continued to go up over the past few years, and again the more intense the restrictions, the worse the overuse/abuse issues get.

    We look at countries that have ended prohibition, such as Portugal and Switzerland (and anyone is either corrup or stupid or both to not read up on Portugal and Switzerland before writing about drug treatment) and we see a dramatic lowering of OD and even use, as well as all the health costs associated with people taking illegal street heroin.

    Unlike the other critics I’ve read on this link, I don’t consider myself a Harm Reductionist. What I want is to end prohibition of all drugs. But the reason I’m not a Harm Reductionist is becase those that follow this treatment model often believe that complete sobriety is the goal, but will seek to just reduce use as a means to this end. The reason I don’t agree with this is that this means Harm Reduction sites can actually recommend AA or other 12 Step faith-based total abstinence programs. I see these programs as actually contributing to the drug crisis through some of their warped ideology.

    For instance, 12 Step is against methadone and Suboxone in general principal and instead wants people to pray to remove their cravings. 12 Step also assumes that any habitual drug use is bad (except for compulsive smoking, sugar eating, and caffeine consumption–note they are always contradicting themselves).

    And this takes us back to my first point and the point where Teresa notes that the War on Drugs doesn’t work. That is right it doesn’t work and costs trillions of dollars. The United States and its people need to accept that they need to end the prohibition of drugs and that is the solution.

    What is even more useful to know is that the prohibition of drugs in the United States began about 100 years. And that before that time some people were habituated to heroin, but they could live normal lives, go work, take care of their home, and etc. But when heroin was no longer OTC, that was when the nightmare that we know of street heroin users began.

    So while some are uncomfortable with people who take drugs that create euphoria, seemingly clearly to be Teresa here, it will be a failure to continue to try to keep these drugs away from the people that want them. That the best solution is the one that we have with alcohol. Society accepts that some people want to drink and alcohol is taxed and regulated.

  • There is NO BENEFIT to the “prohibition” of drugs. Not for weed, heroin, cocaine or even meth. What we must “prohibit” is the black market. Generating annual revenues of more than $300 BILLION dollars a year, the terrorists brave enough to grow flowers, the bloody Latin cartels anxious to kill tens of thousands each year and the gangs and street corner vendors in the US who lure our children into lives of crime and addiction do not want legalization of any drugs for it would kill their
    golden goose. Considering that this “prohibition” has never stopped even one child from getting their hands on drugs what is there to hang our hat on? What do we derive from this policy that even begins to offset the horrors we inflict on urselves by believing in drug war? Quite obviously, those who believe in drug war do NOT believe in public safety.

  • Wow, she totally doesnt understand harm reduction at all, we are the good guys. People have been using opioids for 6000 years, its pretty naive to think they are gonna stop in the next 5 or 6 centuries.So, knowing people will be using, we have to make it safe as possible. Harm reductionists dont think of it as a “War on Drugs” we know it as a war on the poor and those with mental issues.We also realize, that if you work in harm reduction for very long, you see that almost every bit of the harm is caused by our nations idiotic drug policies. Even if you magically wiped out every illicit drug on the planet, in two weeks you would have the same number of people getting high, only now it would be whatever new substance the basement chemists or cartels choose to feed us with. To think of getting rid of all drugs is the biggest waste of time, cant you see how well its worked the last hundred years? Please do more research, for instance, about the “Iron Law of Prohibition”, before writing your next article, I beg you. Misinformation is another huge part of the problem.

    • Kent, you’ve made more sense than anyone else here? Thankyou. They will lie about the numbers helped by whatever new approach they take. Until The truth pops up in the death rates.

      • Thank you Anne, Im on the board of directors at my states Harm Reduction Coalition, have been successful MAT patient for 7 years, after 35 yrs of active addiction, so I should know a little bit about it. This whole article completely gets it wrong. I just hope the author is open minded enough to look at the last few years research regarding traditional recovery methods, “tough love” etc.

  • Thanks Teresa!! That was an excellent article. As a Board member of one of the most successful drug rehabilitation centers in the US, I’d really like to applaud your article. Harm reduction is absolutely a Fake War on Drugs. One has to get to the root of reason for the initial drug abuse to handle it completely. I look forward to your next article!!

    • Also John, what was so spectacular about this writing? Other than it likely reverberates with your approach to drug use – which is likely antiquated and not working. Please let me know why you think this article is so great. The author didn’t propose a meaningful, or any, solution. Where are we to draw this inspiration from in her piece? If I were a person suffering from substance use disorder, I’d find zero hope in this piece. Just more divisive shit from the recovery community. Shame on you as director of one of the “most successful treatment programs” in the country (which doesn’t mean much btw) for criticizing that actually is proving to be helpful to some. Abstinence is shown to not be the best or only model that works for people. You remind me of why “treatment” in this country, rather than harm reduction, is a farce.

      • Thank you, Julie, thats horrifying someone would write this and some people might buy into it.Its like theyve ignored the last 2 or 3 or 4 years of research.

    • John, please name the treatment center. If it’s that successful people need to know about it!,

  • I find your article completely ignorant, illogical, naive, and unsophisticated. Drug addiction is a complex phenomenon. Not as simple as 1 + 1 = 2. Where did you learn about drug addiction? Because you clearly don’t have first hand experience. Or maybe you do and you’re threatened by a recovery modality that is not your own. Idk. Frankly it’s unimportant. I admire your courage in being so staunch in your beliefs, but I believe your hubris has blinded you to the fact that harm reduction saves lives. Giving people choices, empowering them to make better decisions for themselves, removing the shame and stigma, DEregulation of drugs, that is what we need. Not some draconian, antiquated “reduce the demand” for drugs. What does your proposal even mean? Reduce the demand for drugs?? Your point is lost on me almost as much as how you propose to accomplish reducing the demand for drugs. You never actually proposed solutions. I think you just have a bone to pick with harm reductionists because, in reality, all you did in your article above was bitch about harm reduction and offer a half baked non-solution. Harm reduction saves lives. Harm reduction is a path to recovery. AND, even if it’s not, wouldn’t affording people the dignity to make their own choices regarding their lives be worth more than regulating / controlling everything human beings do? The war on drugs is a farce. But it’s a farce because of people with attitudes like yours. There is nothing original in your in your thinking or your very vague and conclusive “solution.” What IS new is harm reduction. How is this not clear to you. AND, if you want people to stop having more sympathy for dogs than other human beings, perhaps you could start with yourself. You expressed zero compassion, nor did you once address trying to understand those who use drugs, in your rant. Your article treats drug users like dogs. Ironic that you advocate for compassion while having none yourself. Quite a disappointing piece indeed. I hope your voice is muted when it comes to the conversation on substance abuse disorder. It’s unhelpful, likely harmful, and tremendously misguided.

    • Look the last article she wrote on opioid use a few months back referred people to Scientologies treatment program which is scarier than no opinion.
      I don’t believe this is writers opinion, I think it’s just a story to her, nothing more.
      It’s even worse where I live three counties in WA State have decided that just not giving out pain medication is the answer unless you have cancer, which in my case I do. But I’ve met cancer patients who can’t get pain medicine. This is criminal to me.
      These T hree C ounties decided between Drs, Police, Treatment Providers, ER staff and 0 treatment centers, yes 2 of the 3 remote counties have no inpatient programs.
      Suicide and heroin overdoses are already on the rise. A few local citizens are trying to keep track of what this will really do to addicts. My belief is those cut off of legit medication will primarily get street drugs. The quality and content unknown therefore more overdoses. I’m not suggesting I have the answers but I clearly see what won’t work. By the time they figure it out the death rate will already have skyrocketed. We need treatment providers trained in addiction to be given the tools to help these people. Where did all of the inpatient programs go? When I was in social services I saw results for some, not all but I see people today who got clean when they were available.
      Please if you read this research treatment providers and only post legit medical based programs.

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