Bush Endorses Harm Reduction Group…Sort Of

President Bush did a photo-op today in which he delivered used coats at the headquarters of Pathways to Housing and praised the organization’s efforts to help the homeless. Of course, there’s nothing surprising about the President doing charitable appearances during the Christmas season. What’s interesting is that Pathways to Housing offers a quite unique and forward-thinking approach to the problem of homelessness:

Founded in 1992, Pathways to Housing, a not-for-profit organization, works with individuals who have been turned away from other programs because of active substance use/abuse, refusal to participate in psychiatric treatment, histories of violence or incarceration, or other behavioral problems.

Pathways to Housing separates housing from treatment. It treats homelessness by providing people with individual apartments, and then treats mental illness by intensive and individualized programs that seek out and actively work with clients as long as they need, in order to address their emotional, psychiatric, medical, and human needs, on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week basis.

This is basically a harm reduction approach to homelessness, in that active drug users receive services (including an apartment) in order to stabilize their situation and connect them to opportunities for treatment and health care. It’s a fantastic program that is achieving remarkable success, which is exactly why I’m surprised to see the President associate himself with it.

Bush’s White House has vehemently pushed an abstinence-first approach to drug treatment, even going so far as to oppose overdose prevention kits on the theory that overdosing would teach users a lesson. Pathways to Housing’s approach to drug addiction is just the complete opposite of everything Bush’s drug policy has stood for. Thus today’s appearance illustrates once again the gaping disparity between what actually works and what his priorities have been for the last 8 years.
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Opposition to overdose prevention kits...

Is ludicrous. I just love these folks, who from the pinnacle of "Mount Know-Everything," are out to teach others a lesson. What good is a lesson when you are not alive to utilize the knowledge gained from such a "lesson?"

I've noticed a recent rash of police officers who've accidentally shot themselves while showing off their pistols to classrooms full of kids. I, myself, am a huge advocate of firearm safety. I think that in order to teach people a lesson about the proper handling of firearms, there should be no medical assistance for anyone who accidentally shoots themselves. That would teach people a valuable lesson, right?

In all seriousness, OD prevention kits and clinics like Insite serve a valuable purpose. They save lives and reduce bloodborne diseases, period! How can anyone who calls themselves a "christian" (like 'reformed' alcoholic George Bush, or John Walters) say that an IV drug user's life is less valuable than anyone else's life? Anyone with any sense of integrity knows better than to get into the destructive game of assigning varying values to peoples' lives! After all, I thought the whole purpose of the War on (some) Drugs was to save lives, especially those of "the children..."


Having strong Christian values, I tend to agree, completely, with your observation of the attitudes of "religious" people in political office! Christians would consider WWJD? ! Too many people on this earth consider many "below" them and not worthy of taking breath. Ever heard the term "waste of skin"? It is not an appropriate way for Christians to think. I have the attitude that "I am God's so I am special"! So is everyone else on this earth, even atheists. The just DON'T KNOW they are God's creation and he loves them too! Too many are condemned by "Christianity"!

Christian Reformed Alcoholics?

Father Leo Booth wrote a very interesting book "When God Becomes a Drug", Breaking the Chains of Religious Addiction and Abuse, forward by John Bradshaw, 1991, ISBN 0-87477-657-0, St. Martin's Press, New York. Very good reading for religious addicts. By the way, does anyone know why George's pick for his first Attorney General just up and disappeared?
As I see it, addiction is a neurobiopsychosocial phenomena that has nothing to do with bad habits but has a lot to do with mankind's lifelong need to avoid pain and feel good. That, for lack of a better term, is solid functional independence, as I see it. Some of us have a real price to pay before we find it. Far to many "Lemmings" stand in the way of real progress in recovery and treatment. They simply follow some misled leader right over the damn cliff and never learn.

Thanks God Obama win to change this current president.

I think it will be safe again since we have a new president down bush down.

Glad bush is gone,,but dont

Glad bush is gone,,but dont get your hopes to high with Obama , i have a feeling were all just following a different shepard

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