How harm reduction disrupts painful cycles of addiction

Two figures in the rain

Mark Riechers/Midjourney/Penny Blatt(TTBOOK/EHRP)

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Maia Szalavitz is a gifted thinker and an expert in addiction. She is also someone who has experienced drug addiction personally, dealing cocaine and using heroin as a college student and young woman. It was during that time that she came upon a concept that is only now changing how we think about drugs and addiction on a mass scale —harm reduction. She encountered it not just in the many books she read, but then lived it — in a single moment when her own life was saved by it. Thirty years later the world is–finally–catching up with her. Alissa Quart, who knows Szalavitz very well, talked with her.