“Abstinence Only” Prevents Harm Reduction Education That Lowers Risks

Telling people that they just should not do drugs or should not do other things like driving while on them is unrealistic and prevents harm reduction narratives that could minimize the risks those inevitable activities pose.

Last month I discussed ways to avoid police detection while rolling dirty and how to avoid a marijuana DUI.

How to NOT Get Busted with Marijuana

How to Drive While High and NOT Get a DUI

As well as other related and/or supporting topics.

A lot of people, mostly cannabis advocates and users, responded with – “Don’t EVER drive while high.”

And when I gave some pointers to first time cannabis users…

Tips for First Time Marijuana Users

…the head haters all fired back with the reductive – “Don’t EVER smoke weed.”

In both cases it was also asserted that I was encouraging those behaviors, even when I specifically said I was not, and genuinely did not intend to encourage anything but safety and sensibility. Which suggests that my messages were going to lead to negative outcomes.

In fact, it is the abstinence only messages that lead to greater negative outcomes.

Just as Abstinence Only Sex Education was not only ineffective, but actually led to more teen pregnancies than harm reduction curriculum, when applied to marijuana and other drugs this nonsenseĀ is bound to create more negative outcomes for experimenters and users. (Birth control is a form of sexual harm reduction.)

That prohibitionists insist on a narrative that that leads to more risks for individuals and communities really illustrates how little protecting people factors among the reasons for their puritan insanity. This is not rationalism, it is Calvinism for chemical consumption, a fundamentalist religious ideology that has spread itself into our nationalist narrative and became the ideological basis for America’s war on it’s own citizens.

Despite all of that arrogant, self-righteous moral masturbation, people are still going to use cannabis and other drugs, and they are probably going to drive and do all sorts of stuff while on them. In order to curb potential failures and tragedies it is crucial that we have open and honest discussions about these things. Denial and condemnation provide no positive suggestions. Giving people information for dealing with any scenario is the best way to help them avoid blunders that could cost themselves, their loved ones and/or their communities the price of ignorance, which is always too much.

Don’t EVER “Don’t EVER…” unless you want the very worst outcomes for the most amount of people.

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