Practicing Harm Reduction

push harm reductionSome people have a misconception of what harm reduction really implies- you see, folks who are systematically practicing harm reduction in regards to drugs or alcohol are not necessarily addicts, nor do they always display addict-like behaviors. Practicing harm reduction requires being better disciplined and higher functioning individuals then your every day addict- they often successfully manage their DOC (drug of choice). They usually hold down jobs and have families, and have learned to follow a template that works, without wreaking havoc on their families, employers, and society as do addicts as we know them.  I  do not advocate pro or con on this issue, but I can say that harm reduction saves lives.

drunkIf an alcoholic usually binges for 5 days at a time, and now he binged for only 3 days, is this harm reduction? NO! If a alcoholic who usually binges for 5 days, plans a drinking schedule to restrict his drinking to only 1 day in every 5 days, marks it down on the calendar and adheres to it, THIS is harm reduction. And I would venture to say if this man can successfully maintain, then he can no longer be considered an alcoholic.

It is little publicized that when it comes to heroin, only 23% of those who use itchipper become addicted. If you feel you are a part of the 23% then perhaps you are not a good candidate for practicing harm reduction, because as I said, it requires the non-addict behaviors of  planning and preparation and thought before action. It’s important you know where you lie in the percentiles and be honest with yourself.  The 23% may have no choice but to go the route of absolutely NO heroin. For the other 77%, until you can stop using altogether,  read Over The Influence and The Little Book, and then follow these tips;

  • Never use alone- have some one nearby who can save your life, if necessary
  • Use a low dose- The best way to prevent heroin addiction is to keep your dose low, never increase the dose, and to back off from heroin completely if you find your usual dose is not effective.
  • Choose smoking or snorting over injection- is not quite as instant in effect as smoking or injecting, but it will still take effect very quickly with much lower risk. While all methods of heroin use carry the risk of overdose, it is less likely with smoking because you can stop once you feel high, whereas with injecting, once the drug is in your body, you can’t do anything to reduce the effects or overdose risk
  • Use clean needles- if you must inject, plan ahead and go to the clean needle exchange
  • Never use heroin two days in a row, and never use more to treat heroin withdrawal symptoms.
  • Be an acquirer- never purchase directly for a heroin dealer- get it from a friend who uses, like you. It may be more expensive but it is safer in terms of being arrested.

I do not advocate heroin use- I feel the ultimate harm reduction is not using at all. This is what I suggest to anyone out there fighting addiction and trying to abstain from heroin;

  • Radionics– both Sai Sanjeevin and Paper Doctor have patterns for addiction. You can print these patterns right off the internet for free, and use them.
  • Take the Bach flower remedy called Agrimony– the classic remedy given to addicts.
  • Dowse, or have someone dowse for you, to find the most beneficial homeopathic remedy to assist you in addiction, or seek the advise of a professional homeopath who uses conventional intake and rubrics to prescribe.
  • Find your healing note and color (again by dowsing), or find it through astrologically. After you determine them you can write them down and put the paper in your pocket or in your pillowcase, or with color, try wearing the color or placing flowers of the color in your room.
  • Balance your chakras- this can be done by placing a witness on Ruggerio’s radionic circuit #19 called cosmo-biological reactivation, for rejuvination, vitality and healing.  Or, you can use a pendulum and a chakra dowsing chart.
  • Call your sponsor– use your tools and call your sponsor before you have the slip, not after, genius.
  • Give of yourself– I can’t stress enough how important this is. Focusing on the needs of others is one of the best ways to get off the pity train.pity train

 

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The Harm Reduction Dilemma

The more I read about addiction studies in Canada and Sweden, the more frustrated I get about the way we handle heroin addicts here in our country.

cap1Can you imagine my husband graduated last year  as a substance abuse counselor, but was never introduced to the term or concept of ‘chipper’? It’s hard to believe, but true.

Can an addict be taught how to be a safe chipper? Can harm reduction be taught, and saves lives?  Yes, yes, and yes, but that would require allowing the addict to actually use their drugs, and  because of the moral stigma, and because it is highly illegal, this is just not done. Besides, I am sure that neither judges, nor parents, nor 12 steppers would want any addict to think there was even the slightest chance they could use drugs, yet hold a job, keep the family in tact, all the while avoiding stealing or getting strung out.

I am not advocating drug use. I am only looking at ways to keep addicts alive, with the best possible quality of life- meaning not in prison and not in rehab, and not sick with HIV or Hep C, or just plain drug sick.

needlesThe clean needle exchange was revolutionary, but that is but the tip of the iceberg.  Shouldn’t every addict carry the kit to revive himself in case he overdosed?  How cruel to keep this life-saving tool in the closet. In Canada a group of addicts were given a chance to use heroin in a very controlled and regulated fashion, which immediately eliminated disease, overdose, and abscesses. Because the dose was controlled in a clean, safe, and sanitary environment, these addicts no longer got sick with a progressing addiction. A large majority of the group stabilized, and were able to integrate back into the family, and even hold jobs. When addicts no longer need to steal to use, we eliminate the crime that usually goes along with the rest of the damage report. All in all, the ‘experiment’ was a huge success, largely, I believe, because the substance was regulated,  and the family supportive.

addict1I can tell you straight from the horse’s mouth that a hygienic  and safe environment is paramount in avoiding diseases, abscesses and overdoses.  When the user has the proper  hygiene and equipment (including clean, sharp needles), good light, and is not rushed, the chance of diseases in ‘none’, the chance of abscess is ‘slim’, and the chance of overdose is ‘less’ because he has the time to carefully measure the dose and cook out the impurities thoroughly,  and is less inclined to hog it down (after rationalizing he’s using ‘just this one last time’).

But alas, we are here in the USA, doing things in an outdated puritanical fashion, that serves only the pocketbooks of the rehabs and criminal justice system. If you have a loved one who is an addict, and you are frustrated like me, here are a few natural things you can do, to help ease the addiction;

  • Dowse to balance the addict and draw the  addition out.
  • Try Bach flower remedies such as Agrimony, Cherry Plum, Chestnut Bud or Crab Apple. Simply match up the traits you are addressing and choose the remedy that fits.
  • Sai Sanjeevini has a series of prayer patterns for all manor of addictions. Free and effective, you can learn the system in about an hour, and download the patterns. www.saisanjeevini.org
  • Homeopathy has been successfully used to treat addiction, and you can either consult a professional, or dowse for the best remedy.
  • Although counseling can usually benefit, words are not enough, and consider this to be but a piece of the healing puzzle.

There is no quick fix, but you can strip off the layers, like peeling an onion, and reduce some of the pain and anxiety that plagues the addict, by eclectically employing an array of healing modalities, to restore health and balance.

fix4

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The Working Homeless

Lady V must be, conservatively ,over 70 years old, if she’s a day. She is a member of a rising group called the working homeless, with a culture and a look all it’s own.  She and 1 other that I know ofsiuitcaslady v, work with me as fund raisers. What a twist- these determined women who travel with rolling suitcases in tow, sporting plaid jackets and dark pants, short hair and baseball caps or hoodies, who don’t have a permanent place to lay their heads at night, spend their days raising money for charities! I once saw Lady V retrieve an uneaten sandwich from the garbage and gratefully gobble it down. Then she took her seat in the call room and raised over $1000 for an equally grateful non profit organization. The irony. She sleeps in flop houses or cheap hotels when she has the money, and bus stations and I don’t know where, when she doesn’t. If only I had a small suite of offices which included a full kitchen and a full bathroom- I’d open up

Madeleine’s Morning Rest Stop and Healing Center                       

Each client will be greeted with an offering glass

  • A glass of Sanjeevini prayer water
  • A hot shower and clean clothing exchange
  • Laundry facilities
  • A full hot breakfast including eggs and potatoes, fruit salad, bagels and jam, and coffee
  • A meeting with a life coach/advocate
  • An opportunity to take care of business be it use of phone, computer, fax, scanner/copier.  Also a chance to sit at the computer for healing sessions using digital radionics, or touch other healing patterns from our numerous books of healing systems.

Each client leaves with sacklunh c

  • A sack lunch consisting of a sandwich (not bologna) , pretzels, apple, cookies, and drink
  • Bus tokens
  • Hygiene kit which has a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lotion, lip balm, hairbrush, towel
  • Resource list of everything from soup kitchens to homeopathy and women’s clinics, and from clean clothing, to the clean needle exchanges.
  • Healing folder containing a mini magnet, and Paper Doctor and  Sai Sanjeevini patterns and a small healing crystal

Lady V told me she sells flowers on the weekends, and said she also
illworkforfod   oo

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The Three Day Heroin Rule- More About Chippers

It is hard to fathom that Jimmie has completed a course of study to become a drug and alcohol counselor, and he was never taught about chippers. Chippers are ‘weekend warriors’- folks who use heroin recreationally/intermittently and are not strung out or addicted. The 12 step group must feel very threatened when even considering someone being able to straddle heroin and life successfully- it is contrary to everything they teach and believe in. But it is true- this group, the greater portion of heroin users, does exist, and are still in the closet. Statistics show that 80% of all heroin users are chippers, not addicts. These chippers practice harm reduction, and that is how they stay alive and undiscovered…To do it well requires secrecy, privacy, and discipline- yes discipline. Harm reduction comes in many forms, and may be different to varying chippers. Harm reduction techniques could be:

Using clean needles- Dirty needles spread disease like HIV and Hep C

Using a formulate to prevent overdose when you haven’t used for a while– 60% of OD’s are from misjudging tolerance

Using a formula to prevent addiction- There are 2-  the 3  day rule (use 1 day and off 3 days) or the 8/72 rule (use for 8 hours and off for 72 hours).

Learning how to inject without getting an abscess- This is taught at the clean needle exchange- there is no reason to get an abscess

Purchase from acquirers, not dealers- It costs more but you are safer from being arrested

and lastly, little known…

Cut back amount if shooting in a new place- Tolerance is a funny thing. Addicts have been known to die from their second shot of the day after dividing their daily amount into three piles. It would therefore seem that their tolerance had been reduced since the first shot. It has been conjectured that tolerance was partially a matter of place-conditioning and that addicts who shoot in a particular gallery get conditioned- their body begins to gear up for a shot when they go there and that therefore they have a higher tolerance there. When they shoot up someplace else, their body isn’t ready and they OD.

I see the dilemma…How can we teach abstinence and harm reduction at the same time? Is it fair to keep this information from the chronic heroin relapsers, or would they think we are encouraging their use?

How many who overdosed might have been spared, had they known these simple harm reduction techniques and formulas?

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