While President Trump & the White House made their political spectacle regarding the border wall, I was in Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana, Mexico. I had been spending time with local, community groups who provide *harm reduction* based services & support for people who use drugs – especially people living on the street or in informal houses.
It was a humbling, moving, and powerful experience. To observe what they do and to talk with incredibly marginalized and poor people who use drugs floored me. The level of poverty, exclusion, and extreme violence they face is unreal.
But in the face of all this, I witnessed their courage, their spirit, their faith, and their love. From needle and syringe programs to naloxone distribution (naloxone is a medicine that halts and reverses overdoses and prevents people from dying) I bore witness to their practical, no-nonsense approach to saving lives and keeping people healthy and safe. It was amazing to hear people’s stories and how they’ve saved lives. They are heroes.
What they do each day and the harm reduction efforts they and others employ, will do far more to improve health and safety from drug (policy) related harms than a wall ever will.