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Harm reduction


nicolasconnault

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I've been searching for a while, but to no avail: is there an official Church policy or opinion on the subject of harm reduction/minimisation (see wikipedia article), particularly in relation to illicit drug use?

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Lehi

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I've been searching for a while, but to no avail: is there an official Church policy or opinion on the subject of harm reduction/minimisation (see wikipedia article), particularly in relation to illicit drug use?

If not, what are your opinions?

I don't know if there is an official Church policy but I personally don't have a problem with it. If my son is a heroin addict and I can at least prevent him from getting HIV by giving him needles I would be very irresponsible if I did not do it. Plus, I think taking such actions increase the possibility of a drug addict accepting other type of help eventually.

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I don't know if there is an official Church policy but I personally don't have a problem with it. If my son is a heroin addict and I can at least prevent him from getting HIV by giving him needles I would be very irresponsible if I did not do it. Plus, I think taking such actions increase the possibility of a drug addict accepting other type of help eventually.

I think the Church would be categorically against anything that supports an illegal or immoral activity. There may be some tolerance of non-LDS helping to minimize the risk factors of other non-LDS, but I don't think you'll ever actually see Church members supporting such things as needle distribution or passing out condoms at the local high school.

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I think the Church says don't do drugs.

It doesn't say "we know you won't listen to us, so we'll take steps to allow you to safely do drugs."

It's like asking if the Church will say your adultery wasn't as severe because you used a condom.

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I think the Church would be categorically against anything that supports an illegal or immoral activity. There may be some tolerance of non-LDS helping to minimize the risk factors of other non-LDS, but I don't think you'll ever actually see Church members supporting such things as needle distribution or passing out condoms at the local high school.

What is less bad: a teen has sex w/ condom or a teen has sex w/o condom, gets pregnant, gets HIV?

What is less bad: a drug addict uses heroin or a drug addict uses heroin, gets HIV, and gives HIV to his wife?

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I think the Church says don't do drugs.

It doesn't say "we know you won't listen to us, so we'll take steps to allow you to safely do drugs."

It's like asking if the Church will say your adultery wasn't as severe because you used a condom.

Well, let's look at this issue of drug use. If your son was a heroin addict and you could, at least momentarily, prevent him from getting HIV, would you not give him the needle?

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What is less bad: a teen has sex w/ condom or a teen has sex w/o condom, gets pregnant, gets HIV?

What is less bad: a drug addict uses heroin or a drug addict uses heroin, gets HIV, and gives HIV to his wife?

I think you're asking for too much. The official Church position would be that the teens shouldn't be having sex, and the drug addict shouldn't be using drugs.

But I don't know if someone would be disciplined for providing condoms to the teens or needles to the drug users. The Church hasn't been so clear on what happens to people who enable sin.

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As I understand things, "harm reduction/minimisation" is just the politicaly correct way of saying "enabling". It is one of the ripple effects from people having a warped sense of compassion and love, and is likely an outgrowth of the debunked Freudian philosophy of permissiveness. Ironically, it ultimately and unwittingly causes harm, rather than reduces it.

The anticdote is to redevelop a cultural mindset of responsible behavior and progression, for which redevelopment the restored gospel of Christ is best suited.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I think you're asking for too much. The official Church position would be that the teens shouldn't be having sex, and the drug addict shouldn't be using drugs.

But I don't know if someone would be disciplined for providing condoms to the teens or needles to the drug users. The Church hasn't been so clear on what happens to people who enable sin.

The point is that you are not enabling sin. You are not enabling teens to have sex by giving them condoms. You are not enabling the heroin addict to use heroin but you are helping him (and probably his family) not get HIV. You are giving him the option of using a needle 5 other people have used or use a clean needle.

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I've been searching for a while, but to no avail: is there an official Church policy or opinion on the subject of harm reduction/minimisation (see wikipedia article), particularly in relation to illicit drug use?

If not, what are your opinions?

Opinion: I don't think a priesthood leader would discourage anyone from receiving the best treatment they could from competent medical professionals, while doing all they could to engage an individual in the addiction recovery program as soon as practicable. Harm-reduction is just a small step and one of many methods in a very lengthy treatment process, preceding an even lengthier recovery process, and only one small way to reduce the spread of AIDS.

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Well, let's look at this issue of drug use. If your son was a heroin addict and you could, at least momentarily, prevent him from getting HIV, would you not give him the needle?

No, I would not enable his sins in order to termporarily save his physical body.

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No, I would not enable his sins in order to termporarily save his physical body.

...he is an addict that is going to continue using drugs regardless of you providing needles of not. You are making it easier for your son to use a clean needle and not a needle used by 5 other people.Again, what is less bad: a drug addict uses heroin or a drug addict uses heroin, gets HIV, and gives HIV to his wife?

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...he is an addict that is going to continue using drugs regardless of you providing needles of not. You are making it easier for your son to use a clean needle and not a needle used by 5 other people.Again, what is less bad: a drug addict uses heroin or a drug addict uses heroin, gets HIV, and gives HIV to his wife?

The OP asked about an "official Church policy". I think we all agree that there hasn't been anything stated specifically on the subject from the Church, but that current Church teachings seem to indicate an attitude not supportive of such activities.

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No, I would not enable his sins in order to termporarily save his physical body.

Talking about the Church's role in population-based public health policy and the Church's role in members' individual accountability are two very different things. Just like the immigration issue, the Church is not dictating what the policy should be. On an individual basis however, and virtually always locally, immigrants receive inspired counsel and treatment specific to their needs relating to their salvation, just like any other member.

I don't think the Church will take a stand on public health policy for harm-reduction. At the same time, struggling members can receive inspired guidance (Holy Spirit, Priesthood Leader) for their own circumstance as they "govern themselves." Inasmuch as they care about spreading disease, the "brother's keeper" doctrine might apply, if they can bear it, and how they apply it is a function of their understanding and intent, which no one or no organization can impose upon them.

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The OP asked about an "official Church policy".

...and for our opinion on the issue.

I think we all agree that there hasn't been anything stated specifically on the subject from the Church, but that current Church teachings seem to indicate an attitude not supportive of such activities.

I obviously do not agree that with this and I gave reasons why supporting harm reduction is better than not supporting it.

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This will sound harsh, but by mitigating the consequences you are not helping the person but prolonging their repentance and desire to change. Consequences have purpose, even the most serious ones. By always rescuing we can weaken those we love in the long run.

I am reminded of Alma's reaction when he heard that his son could not speak and became weak so as not able to stand after being visited by the angel: "And they rehearsed unto his father all that had happened unto them; and his father rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God." (Mosiah 27:20)

Having an eternal perspective helps us to understand sometimes we have to let our children reach bottom before they will decide to pick themselves up. And the only way we can help them is pray, pray, pray and then be there to pick up the pieces when the are ready to turn their lives around. And the only way they will do this is when it's their choice.

My son didn't kick himself and get ready to go on a mission until he had a couple of those close calls where his life was on the line. So don't think I don't know what it costs for a parent to watch their children reach bottom before they can make that change.

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This will sound harsh, but by mitigating the consequences you are not helping the person but prolonging their repentance and desire to change.

Therefore, we should let a drug addict alone so he can get HIV and infect his family so he can suffer enough to repent... Seriously?

Consequences have purpose, even the most serious ones. By always rescuing we can weaken those we love in the long run.

Do you know what doctors are for?

I am reminded of Alma's reaction when he heard that his son could not speak and became weak so as not able to stand after being visited by the angel: "And they rehearsed unto his father all that had happened unto them; and his father rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God." (Mosiah 27:20)

Let's all rejoice when drug addicts get HIV and their families for the drug addict's repentance is near!

Having an eternal perspective helps us to understand sometimes we have to let our children reach bottom before they will decide to pick themselves up. And the only way we can help them is pray, pray, pray and then be there to pick up the pieces when the are ready to turn their lives around. And the only way they will do this is when it's their choice.

Having your hand stretched so they have the choice of not getting sick easier is much more helpful than "pray, pray, pray".

My son didn't kick himself and get ready to go on a mission until he had a couple of those close calls where his life was on the line. So don't think I don't know what it costs for a parent to watch their children reach bottom before they can make that change.

That is pretty different to, knowing you can help them through relatively easy methods, letting them get HIV and probably pass it to their families.

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...he is an addict that is going to continue using drugs regardless of you providing needles of not.

Is he? Well perhaps I believe that addicts can change given sufficient motivation. Having everyone around them refusing to enable them any longer might very well give them that motivation.
You are making it easier for your son to use a clean needle and not a needle used by 5 other people.
But I don't want him to use any needles. Telling him I don't want him to use heroin while handing him a needle is what is known as sending a mixed message.
Again, what is less bad: a drug addict uses heroin or a drug addict uses heroin, gets HIV, and gives HIV to his wife?
My supplying a single clean needle will not prevent my son from acquiring HIV or passing it on to his wife if he continues in his current destructive habits.
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Is he? Well perhaps I believe that addicts can change given sufficient motivation. Having everyone around them refusing to enable them any longer might very well give them that motivation.

Well, we are talking about real life here. What you just said pertains to the world of imagination. "Everyone" would include drug dealers and there would be pretty much no drugs around. Again, we are talking real life situations, Jason.

But I don't want him to use any needles.

Obviously we don't want anyone using heroin, too.

Telling him I don't want him to use heroin while handing him a needle is what is known as sending a mixed message.

Again, you need to answer the questions, Jason. You have two options: let him use a needle that other 5 people used or let him use a clean needle. You don't want him to use drugs, you don't want to help him get high, I get all that, man. The question is, how can we minimize the damage?

My supplying a single clean needle will not prevent my son from acquiring HIV or passing it on to his wife if he continues in his current destructive habits.

If your son uses clean needles for himself he will never get HIV through needle-sharing.

Look, Jason, this is similar to car crashes. You don't want people to talk on the phone while driving, you don't want people to drive while drunk, you don't want people to drive while being angry.... but all these are going to happen. The issue is to make the safest and strongest cars you can so that when people get hit you will minimize the damage as much as possible. I am all for working with prevention, brother, but these things are going to happen and the question is, how can we minimize the damage?

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Therefore, we should let a drug addict alone so he can get HIV and infect his family so he can suffer enough to repent... Seriously?

Come now. Do you really think Deborah was arguing that we not help addicts at all, or was she instead arguing that this (Harm reduction) doesn't really help them?
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