An American History of Drugs and Addiction, Part 7: The Harm Reduction Revolution


In the 200 years between Dr. Rush’s initial implementation of early public health initiatives and the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, public health practitioners started to focus more on systemic analyses rather than revival tent speeches. These systemic analyses showed that the assumption of endogenous addictiveness within the disease model, and the criminalization of drug use that followed, could not account for non-problematic drug use, racial disparities in the treatment of drug users, or that inherent dissonance between the criminal drug user and the sick addict.