Harm Reduction? That would be funny if it weren’t such a tragedy

31 Jan


Shaun Weiss in booking mug, left, and as a child actor in “The Mighty Ducks,” right.  This man is now only 39 years old. 

I hate to jump on this poor guy, but wanted to show the effects that drugs, booze and a life on the street have had on this person. 

I see people like him around Chico, and I always wonder – how does this happen? Of course that is a rhetorical question – I know how it happens. It’s not a disease that you can catch innocently from a mosquito, it’s not mental illness, it’s drug and alcohol addiction.

Of course this man has made his own decisions, but there is a culture that encourages his behavior – including the North Valley Harm Reduction Coalition,  Safe Space, and other agencies that want to offer no barrier shelters and other for-transients-only services in our town. Do these “well-meaning” idiots realize that they are just enabling drug and alcohol users to continue on a self- and society- destructive life path? 

I went to the needle exchange that NVHRC holds in the park and talked to the mostly young people that are handing out the needles. They are without any medical training – oh, I suppose they’ve been taught how to administer NARCON, just like tiny school children used to be taught how to crawl under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack.

They have no clue what they are doing, they’ve been told they are doing the right thing. 

No, look at the picture above – that’s what they’re doing.

3 Responses to “Harm Reduction? That would be funny if it weren’t such a tragedy”

  1. leonard a costa January 31, 2020 at 6:54 am #

    the answer to this is not provide. we have had some homeless sent here by places like Nevada and sacramento . We need to do the same thing. No camping , no do nothing homeless any where in our town. send them all to sacramento and never allow any to return

  2. Jim January 31, 2020 at 7:04 am #

    I was against the low barrier shelter when it was proposed and spoke openly in opposition. However after learning more about this and hearing how it’s worked in other communities, I now regret my opposition and support this type of shelter. Such shelters have been shown to get people off the streets and helped them toward recovery.

    I’ve never understood drug use, addition or alcoholism. I don’t understand why someone would turn their life over to substance abuse. None the less it happens, even in the best of families. There is a huge problem in this country with middle class heroin usage, and it’s only getting worse.

    The needle exchange has been shown to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis in the community. It also provides a place where users can get access to treatment. Therefore I support it. Users are going to use regardless if we give them a clean needle or not. They have a better chance of recovery if they use a clean one.

    • Juanita Sumner February 1, 2020 at 7:07 am #

      I would rather see the same energy put into getting these people off drugs.

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