Episode 13: Drug Addiction and Harm Reduction

Host Sammy Ross and guest Meghan Hetfield discuss the topic of Harm Reduction.  Drugs, whether legal or illegal, have been around for centuries.  Whether they have been used for medicinal purposes, recreational, or even ritual, people all over the world have been partaking in drugs throughout history.  On this episode, we’ll take a look at how we’ve viewed drugs, from the infamous War on Drugs, to Portugal’s full decriminalization, to our current Opioid Crisis.  We’ll explain Harm Reduction, and why it might just be the best way forward.  

For Bonus content where host Sammy Ross and guest Meghan Hetfield discuss how Meghan started in the field of Harm Reduction, and the path that led her there, please visit: https://www.patreon.com/ThisisNotaHandout

For more information about the show, please visit: https://www.thisisnotahandout.com


For more on Native Americans, and the debate on decriminalizing peyote: https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2020-03-29/native-americans-want-mind-bending-peyote-cactus-removed-from-efforts-to-decriminalize-psychedelic-plants 

For an in-depth timeline of opium throughout history: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/heroin/etc/history.html 

For more on the uses of Medical Marijuana: https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2019/cannabis-for-medical-conditions.html 

For a look into Nixon’s racially-motivated War on Drugs: https://www.businessinsider.com/nixon-adviser-ehrlichman-anti-left-anti-black-war-on-drugs-2019-7 

For a look at how the War on Drugs in the U.S. led to the rise in prison populations: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-war-on-drugs-changed-americas-prison-population-2014-4 

For an opinion piece on drug policies and their connection to white supremacy: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/overdose-awareness-day-united-states-history-white-supremacy 

For a look at the Principles of Harm Reduction: https://harmreduction.org/hrc2/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/NHRC-PDF-Principles_Of_Harm_Reduction.pdf 

For more on an in-depth look into the history of drug decriminalization in Portugal: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-is-working-why-hasnt-the-world-copied-it 

For more on Oregon’s new state policy on drug decriminalization: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/oregon-1st-state-to-decriminalize-possession-of-hard-drugs 

For more on the life-saving drug Naloxone: https://drugpolicy.org/issues/naloxone 

For a look into the 2016 Opioid Crisis: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/8/3/16079772/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdoses 

For more on the Opioid Crisis and the effects Covid has had on the Latino Community: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/latinos-grapple-opioid-overdose-rise-covid-pandemic-triggers-surge-us-rcna415 

For more on Purdue Pharma, and the involvement in the Opioid Crisis: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/24/us/politics/purdue-pharma-opioids-guilty-settlement.html 

For more on New York State’s legalization of marijuana: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/04/new-york-has-legalized-weed-heres-what-you-should-know.html 

*To view or purchase “Drug Use For Grownups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear” by Dr. Carl Hart: https://bookshop.org/books/drug-use-for-grown-ups-chasing-liberty-in-the-land-of-fear/9781101981641?aid=24399&listref=tinah-s-booklist 

*This is an affiliate link, and TINAH will earn a commission if you make a purchase.  This helps us to continue creating the podcast you love, while supporting independent bookshops.

For more on the online and mail-based Harm Reduction company, Next Distro: https://nextdistro.org/ 

To call the Never Use Alone hotline, if you are using alone: (800) 484-3731 or chat with them at https://neverusealone.com/ 

For more on We Connect Health Management, where guest Meghan Hetfield hosts Recovery Support Meetings: https://www.weconnectrecovery.com/ 

To learn more about guest Meghan Hetfield: https://meghanhetfield.com/ 

Check out this episode!