Every human being has innate dignity, and as children of God our collective well-being is intertwined. People who use drugs are beloved by God, but our society often reduces them to their drug use. As we work to quell the overdose crisis in Ohio, we affirm the dignity of all — and reject any attempt to demean and marginalize our beloved neighbors.
As Ohioans of faith, we commit to building authentic solidarity between people who use drugs and those who don’t. We commit to building healthier communities for everyone by embracing the principles of harm reduction in response to the systemic failure of the “war on drugs,” which is rooted in and perpetuates white supremacy. We commit to lifting people up when systems let them fall and intervening when systems would let people die.
Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to minimise negative health, social and legal impacts associated with drug use, drug policies and drug laws. Harm reduction is grounded in justice and human rights – it focuses on positive change and on working with people without judgement, coercion, discrimination, or requiring that they stop using drugs as a precondition of support.
Definition from Harm Reduction International
Every person has innate dignity, and we know our well-being is intertwined. Right now misguided drug policy – that prioritizes criminalization and incarceration – is harming our communities and taking the lives of too many Ohioans. Every fatal overdose is a policy failure caused by the deadly and racist War on Drugs.