HARM REDUCTION

Alexandra’s Policy Platform

Harm reduction is a philosophy intended to ameliorate drug-associated harms, and it includes strategies for accomplishing that goal. Within the context of drug use, this philosophy  focuses on the biopsychosocial effects of using a substance together with mechanisms for coping with the social and psychological, isolated and/or systemic harms associated with substance use. Prohibition-based drug policy is unsuccessful, dehumanizing, and degrading to individuals, our society, and humanity, as the suffering it causes affects the least fortunate among us the most. Historically, prohibition has been a tool to stigmatize people of color and the poor as morally deficient due to their choice to consume drugs and as undeserving of agency or satisfying even their basic human needs.

End the War on Drugs. Abuse by the criminal legal system under the War on Drugs has disproportionately affected people of color and the poor. Those with more resources have better means to navigate the legal pitfalls of engaging in illicit drug use and, especially if they are white, tend to be less likely targets by law enforcement in the first place. Alexandra supports ending punitive drug policies and replacing them with health-based solutions that prioritize prevention and the treatment of negative health consequences such as fatal overdose, HIV, Hepatitis B & C, and other infections, by eliminating the barriers to accessing needed resources that prevent these outcomes.  In Congress, Alexandra will fight to end the War on Drugs by releasing individuals incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses, expunging past convictions, and providing reparations to individuals, families, and communities impacted by incarceration and high threshold probation/parole requirements.

Safer Supply. A safer supply program would provide pharmaceutical-grade substances users would know are free of anything not desired, available for use on their terms, and specifically purposed to address withdrawal or provision pleasure outside of clinical constraints. Safer supply refers to a legal and regulated supply of drugs with mind/body altering properties that traditionally have been accessible only through the illicit drug market. Methadone and suboxone are currently substitute options in the U.S., but the constraints on their availability have dampened their effectiveness. Beyond methadone and buprenorphine, safe supply initiatives include low barrier access to hydromorphone, controlled release morphine sulphate, and other substances currently causing harm that need not to if safer alternatives available. Safer supply changes the narrative by respecting the agency of individuals who choose to use drugs, removing the labels of “wrong” and “bad” in respect to drug using behavior. The availability of a reliable drug supply is a necessary step to end the futile stigmatization of drug use and drug users as well as ending the overdose epidemic. In Congress, Alexandra will advocate for a safer supply drug program and ending drug prohibition.

(The development of this harm reduction platform stems from collaboration with people with lived and living expertise using drugs and long-time involvement in harm reduction. If elected, community voices will be centered in all policy proposals and decisions.)

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