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Down the Slippery Slope of Harm Reduction

I think the city has been shortsighted in denying running water to the bulb. Principles of harm reduction would require us to prevent the spread of disease if possible. As a city it seems we lack the imagination to envision the middle ground between the options of the Sylvia McLaughlin Eastshore State Prison and Methtopia USA.

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dorthy manser April 23, 2014 at 06:59 PM
Yeah, thorn. That's the problem. Homelessness has many causes. You can lose your job and not have the skills to get another one. You can run away from an awful home environment. You can struggle with mental illness that makes it difficult for you to keep a job even if it were available. You can get addicted to drugs. Or you can just decide to live off the grid as a free spirit. Or you can be just too lazy or stupid to get your life together. I'm guessing it's usually a combination of several of these. My impression is that a majority of the folks on the bulb struggle with (or really enjoy) drug use and really, really don't want to give up drugs, get a crappy minimum wage job or live in a slum as a ward of the state. Can't say I would either. I can imagine its much more appealing to see ones self as a free spirit, living off the grid in harmony with nature and getting high whenever. What can tie good Liberals in knots is trying to decide whether to respect their choices or to see them as victims. One thing I do know is that if my kid was a runaway on the bulb shooting up the meth that she bought from a fellow resident, the LAST thing I would want Albany to do would be to respect their choices.
thorn April 23, 2014 at 08:03 PM
Dorothy, exactly. >>I think the city or park district should hire her to stay out there<< uh/ yeah.. i cant advocate that in any way- putting aside the obvious (most people recognize what is going on with her pretty fast when they talk to her, and deny or call it medical all you want Amber but no one wrote you an Rx for meth) -- I feel like people who are over say, 12 and still think fighting will resolve issues are not good candidates for public service. It gets worse when they repeatedly boast about their violent exploits on the internet.... >>>No, I did *not* beat the shit out of her (although, it has since become apparent: that I should have). All I did was punch her a few times, and head-butted her once. She got off easy. <<<
Senior A. Titude April 23, 2014 at 08:05 PM
Enabling: to make (something) possible, practical, or easy. Anything that constitutes enabling should be off the table. It helps no one. Now, if someone wanted to stop using or attempt to live within societal norms, I consider it the community's responsibility to assist (away from the Bulb). But choosing to be a "free spirit" and live off the grid is just that...a choice. I don't see providing water, etc., as anything more than enabling.
dorthy manser April 23, 2014 at 10:11 PM
Of course it's enabling, Senior. Addicts are users, usually of their families, but also of anyone else that shows an interest in their welfare. I suspect thorn knows all about this. For certain people on the bulb, the minute we show an interest in their welfare, we become a potential way for them to keep using drugs without being hassled. That is because meth has made the the world very simple. If Jim's ideas mean that they are more likely to be able to do meth, then they will love Jim. If not, not.
Netizen 2 April 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM
You can give up on the fantasy of giving Amber a job. I think accepting any job would involve admitting disability fraud (you're only supposed to take disability if you're unemployable). This is a big problem with the disability system, as once people are on it they never come off.

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