Log in

No account? Create an account
Harm Reduction


A place where addiction is not a crime.

Opi Red

If you have stumbled across this community...

This is an active community about addiction and recovery... so, if you're wanting to join a place on LJ that actually has an ongoing discussion about the stuff about addiction and recovery, look no further!

Feel free to check out our profile, and the very few public entries that prove this is not a dead place, rather, it's alive and well... That's right, if you make a post at harm_reduction then more than one person will comment!!!

We look forward to seeing new people join harm_reduction.

Just refer to our profile for membership details.


PS: This is a community in which your security is ensured, so there is no need to fear that your posts will be be made public, as ALL posts are made for members of harm_reduction.

Opi Red

Quote full of hope.

It's never too late to be who you might have been.
- George Eliot (who was actually a woman!)

Once upon a time, I really loved these sorts of "hopeful" quotes...
However, now they read a bit differently for me...
In that nowadays, I read them because they're pretty and hopeful...
and my realistic expectations are never far away,
because I don't like to be disappointed (or hold a false expectation).

Black and White

Upgraded and Moderated.

Just to let y'all know...

I'm happy to introduce our moderators, none other than pearliepugh and stinky_cupid.

Already, they have shown they are willing to contribute and be a part of the community, so they're there to moderate and keep an eye on things.

If you're ever wanting to moderate around harm_reduction then feel free to approach me, my name is opiferum and I'm your friendly host.

Flicka sailboat

Opiferum had to remind me. I must be getting old.

39 years of sobriety today. Go team me!

I drank in grade school, the end years. My parents had a bar in the basement, and my dad was a buyer for a chain of grocery store, and salesmen were always giving him samples, and gifts that included wine and booze. He and my mother didn't drink much, other than rare parties at home or when they went out, so I was safe in swiping wine or whiskey. I remember a sixth-grade slumber party in my upstairs room (that my mother rarely came up to) and all the sixth-grade girls. I was the only one drinking. All the more for me, eh? My brother cautioned me to get rid of the boozey vomit in the wastebasket so our mother didn't find it.

By age 15 I had a full-blown habit. I emancipated myself at 17 and moved downtown. I was still in high school. (Although I was not one of these high-functioning addicts that can take acid and get A's in art class. I was more the "needs to be taken to the toilet" type.) Of course, it all blew up in my face. There were hospitalizations and one treatment. I am so lucky that I had one treatment. My poor late husband (who died last summer) had 40 treatments, but finally "got it" and died with 22 years of excellent sobriety. His sponsorees called him an AA legend.

The place I went to treatment wasn't AA- or NA-based. In the 1970s "the Synanon model" was popular. It was a behavior-modification treatment model that more resembled boot camp than modern-day treatment facilities. They employed head-shaving, wearing signs around your neck (e.g., "My awareness is low - ask me why") and "verbal haircuts," which is having someone tap you on the shoulder and beckon you into a room where half a dozen people yell their lungs out at you. It was meant to tear down your negative behaviors and build you up in their way. It worked, sort of.

I wish I'd gone to a more normal place, but I did possess the key piece to getting sober: I had a complete and utter willingness to get clean and sober. I would have done anything they asked to get better, up to and including standing on my head in the corner. Fortunately it did not come to that!

The program was supposed to be 2-3 months, but I was there 7 and a half months. The night they "graduated" me, I later learned another graduate and her counselor (with whom she'd been sleeping) were both hungover. I nearly relapsed with the disillusion, but had to tell myself firmly, "I may be straight, I may be square now, but I DO remember how horrible it was, and if others want to cheat and slide and lie to themselves and others, I don't have to." I really, truly, utterly wanted sobriety above all things.

Here's another key piece: I was willing to give it all up - playmates, playground, and playthings. I think a lot of young people relapse over going right back to the same life, particularly the same friends. I don't see how you can stay clean and sober if you're with your old friends. We had a saying in that program, "If you're willing to give it all up, you can have it all back." Now, I don't mean you can have the drugs back. But in my case, the best friend who was not an addict herself (but who was part of the overall scene) I did give up, and she was so hurt. HER, I eventually made up with after several years of sobriety. She was my maid of honor at both my weddings.

(The stupid place I went to treatment did mean by "If you're willing to give it all up, you can have it all back" that you could go back to chemicals. As if!! I remember my therapist telling the group, "I was a junkie. If I didn't work here, I fully believe I could enjoy an occasional beer on a hot day." Even with about six weeks of sobriety, I thought it was a foolish and dangerous statement.)

Well, that was 1974. To bring you up to the present, I did stay clean and sober. I went into treatment a week before my 20th birthday, and am almost 59. How I stayed clean and sober is truly miraculous. I never succumbed to what I call "The Drew Barrymore Syndrome," which is "I went into treatment so young, it must have been youthful highjinks, and surely I can drink now." Uh, NO.

I made a bad first marriage, divorced, and had an extremely happy second marriage. I finally got a career going. I want to add a final key piece: Don't underrate pot's capacity to zap ambition. It took me decades, literally, to finally find myself and earn real money. I know, coming from someone my age with this much sobriety you'd think I got it together much earlier, but no. It did take decades.

I wish you all well.

Black and White

Words for thought.

Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.
– Erica Jong

Black and White

Quote of the Day.

The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.
– Julia Alvarez

Black and White

Leave the Past Behind

When I couldn't face the day without thinking of the past, I found a little card with an inspiration verse on it that I carried with me everywhere. I kept it in my wallet, so I saw it more times than not throughout the day. Here it is for those that are still finding it hard to leave the past behind...

Dwell not on the past.
Use it to highlight a point then leave it behind.
Nothing really matters except what you do at this moment in time.
You can be an entirely different person filled with love and understanding,
ready with an outstretched hand, inspired and positive in every thought and deed.d

Black and White

Suggestion box.

It's the people that make a community, and their input that makes it come to life.

So, considering the direction of harm_reduction is entirely in the hands of those that embrace the desire to connect and share, help and support... has anybody got any good suggestions about the way in which they'd like to contribute, or just a suggestion at all?

Don't forget, if you know of anybody on your friend's list that could be an ideal member, please feel free to invite them... it would be great to have somewhere on LJ that people can come to where there is actual activity, and a whole lotta love.


Welcome! Are you searching for a community about drugs, addiction and recovery?

Everything has to start somewhere...

So, here's hoping that someone out there will read this eventually.

This is a community I once created back in 2008, but this is the updated and new version as things change over time... whereas in the past it was taken over by someone else, I'm not going to let this happen again. After all, I put a lot of work into making it happen last time, and I am looking forward to nurturing it into the future.

Whereas a lot of addiction/recovery communities are based on one thing only (i.e. addiction or recovery), this is a community that welcomes people from both sides of the fence. After all, I believe that addicts need a place to seek solace, and I know from my first-hand experience that being in recovery isn't easy at the best of times either.

But, it's not just a place about addiction or recovery... it's a place based on emotions, lifestyle choices, thoughts, experiences... anything that relates to life and the mastering of it.

Share the passion, share your story, share your strengths and wisdom.

Just don't judge others, and most importantly, I hope people will respect one another and take the time to reach out and make new connections.