In the editorial on the death of Jesse Harvey (“Our View: Advocate’s death is a tragic reminder,” Sept. 10), the Editorial Board summarizes his position on drug use, called “harm reduction.” This is “a public health approach to substance use that meets people ‘where they are’ in their recovery.”

Along these lines, the Editorial Board argues: “We need more treatment options and more safe places for people to live while they get control of their lives. And as long as illicit drug use is a reality, it’s important to make this inherently dangerous activity as safe as it can possibly be.”

The focus here is solely on people who use drugs. But harm reduction should apply to the entire population, not just drug users. And if a person who does not use drugs hears that there are more treatment options, more safe places to live, that the activity is as safe as it can possibly be, that is not harm reduction. That, because it makes the activity of using drugs more enticing, is harm enhancement.

William Vaughan Jr.
Chebeague Island

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