Prompted by “NIDA actually discusses harm reduction with teens”: http://www.drugwarrant.com/2015/06/nida-actually-discusses-harm-reduction-with-teens/
harm: 1. physical injury or mental damage; hurt 2. moral injury; evil; wrong. (dictionary.com)
NIDA has had an agenda that “focuses on prohibition and abstinence, rather than harm reduction and respect of human agency.”
For the prohibitionist (and apparently still most of mainstream society), there is no distinction between “prohibition and abstinence” and “harm reduction and respect of human agency”.
Confusion from communication is a (sometimes even deadly serious) “red flag” that should prompt linguists to promptly resolve that confusion — not essentially ignore that warning, while apparently presenting silent hope that evolution will promote a proper remedy over a lengthy duration.
With whatever respect due to this NIDA issue, I already covered the literally horrible confusion (the one effectively incarcerating, or otherwise causing varying degrees of ruin, for roughly millions of non-violent citizens) from merely swapping use and abuse to prohibitionists’ convenience for several decades and counting (while people are insanely hypocritically free to risk alcohol poisoning without fear of prosecution).
While that mass harm (by any sane observance) never sufficiently makes the mainstream news due to serious media bias stabbing deep into any sense of upholding journalism code of ethics, the death of a teenager with a needle in her arm (last night’s news) prompts the same pathetic “solution” negating any leverage needed to truly help (at least young) people navigate our challenging environment involving drug intake for worst through best. For prime example, have someone experienced with heroin use — not just abuse (i.e. one of the 77% of heroin users, according to the prestigious Institute of Medicine’s dependency rate of 23% for heroin) — explain to teenagers about the cons of painkillers — i.e. reality has a balancing requirement insisting upon all euphoric moments producing an opposite and equal horrifying experience, so avoiding euphoria is wise in favor of maximally stabilizing balance (a requirement for survival), especially considering the horror fix is too-often revisiting euphoria via painkillers (like checking into a roach motel).
The terrible irony is one of humanity’s greatest harms is the inability (from the pathetic absence of any honorable effort) to concisely define harm. The word harm is as vague as it gets due to the abhorrent subjectivity in its conclusion. That vagueness is leveraged by con-artists to achieve high levels of power at societal expense, and consequently entrenching that power in legal precedence (like checking at least some segments of society into a roach motel).
Improving communication improves relationships, so one of the greatest advantages of embracing scientific constitutionalism is that, while providing a fully logical basis for law that maximally prevents the aforementioned corrupt power gain (and all of the resulting widespread unhealthy stress that actually leads to drug abuse), a major natural effect is opposing vague terms for more precise communication — which obviously sends the right message to children and the rest of us honoring the essential ingredient of survival known as communication itself.
Simply put, sanity demands taking the tried-and-true scientific method that continues rapid technological advancement, and applying that method to discover absolute language constructs (e.g. naturally given and unalienable right to liberty). Absolute terms match the flawless precision of mathematical language — my best example offhand being Reality Waveform Theory (which I maintain, unless scientifically proven otherwise, is the actual “theory of everything” that many leading scientists are looking for unfortunately strictly via mathematics, which is too complex to describe the one simple pattern literally forming all existence as humanity perceives it — the sine wave — which via my degree in music synthesis at Berklee College of Music has been taught to be the sole ingredient literally forming every sound you hear, a conclusion easily extrapolated to the demonstrably complex waveform of energy that hardcore science confirms reality to be, but I apologetically somewhat extremely digress). My point here is verbal logic is powerful stuff, but society has been conditioned for generations to “cleverly” leverage reason abuse (lies, spin, etc.) to reinforce the absence of objectivity to legitimize the complex struggles involving subjective conclusions (religious warfare, for prime example).
The prime word with respect to health and law (obviously including liberty) is harm. There are no hard-lines in this ocean of energy, hardcore scientifically speaking, so there are no hard-lines matching an objective conclusion regarding harm. However, while not perfect in line-drawing, like similar imperfection driving technological advancement, our species can continuously scientifically improve a most-agreeable definition of harm (including a more accurate measure of harm in the form of punishment).
Facetiously put, the “chirping crickets” around my well-reasoned communicative front seem to be on board here (albeit my wonderful audience thankfully steadily grows), so why am I apparently the only one promoting such an obvious and actual solution to the actual problem (the inability to concisely define harm for accurate — so credible — law)?
Without that concision, harm reduction is as vague (so confusing) as it gets, and the war on some drugs exemplifying the actual problem steamrolls forward over actually innocent lives, while failing to even create a “drug free” prison system, costing taxpayers billions (if not tens of billions) of dollars annually, forming all sorts of “collateral damage” — all judicially ruled constitutional by way of one of the (if not the most) vague constitutional clauses — the 16 words forming the Commerce Clause (“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”).
I remain honestly sympathetic towards the current effort to define harm by tumultuous dominance (and all of the resulting harm covering the “weak”) in this 13.82 billion year old explosion called this universe, because harm is inherent in reality (the fact is each one of us will even die at some point, regardless of the rule-of-law). Unhealthy stress is harm, and no rule-of-law can eliminate that negativity, but better stress management (including incentives to help others deal with unhealthy stress — see Rule of Reality as the scientifically supreme incentive in my Liberty Shield basics as a critical ingredient towards civility) is a path we can (and at least arguably should) all righteously travel for worst through best.