The Scottish Connection: A Tale of Radical Harm Reduction and Controversial Influence

Upon delving into Fran Yanor’s enlightening article here,

A compelling connection to Scotland emerges, particularly in the context of our formidable drug policy reform campaign that is now claiming compassionate decriminalisation is the answer to our drug deaths. Despite public assurances to the contrary, the government of British Columbia was knowingly entangled with illicit drug trafficking by the Canadian government-funded organization DULF, as early as June 2022. This revelation is shocking, especially given the continued funding amid glaring red flags, including instances of publicly funded organisations engaging in drug buying and selling activities in broad daylight.

Adding a layer of intrigue to this situation is the parallel timeline with our #YouKeepTalkingWeKeepDying campaign in Scotland. In 2019, at the height of our campaign’s influence, we were drawing hundreds of people to our monthly public events, galvanizing support across communities deeply affected by drug-related deaths. During this critical period, the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) Scot gov paid quango made the controversial decision to invite representatives from VANDU, the organization mentioned in Yanor’s article, to Scotland. This move was ostensibly to provide guidance to Scottish activists, but it signaled a significant shift in SDF’s approach.

The SDF, deviating from our campaign’s primary focus, began to advocate more vocally for the legalisation and safe supply of drugs. This strategic redirection was a stark contrast to our campaign’s commitment to broadening access to enhanced treatment options and offering diverse choices. Instead, SDF imported drug user activists from around the globe, ostensibly to reorient our advocacy efforts in Scotland.

This strategic pivot also involved the introduction of the term #LivingExperience. This was a clear attempt to shift the narrative focus away from those in recovery with #LivedExperience, who were garnering significant attention from journalists and the public. The use of #LivingExperience seemed designed to exert influence over those still struggling with addiction, as opposed to engaging with those who have navigated the journey to recovery. Our campaign, deeply rooted in lived experiences, has always championed increased treatment access and diverse recovery options – a mission that remains as vital today as when we first embarked upon it.

The revelations in Yanor’s article, therefore, raise profound questions about the true motivations of these organisations in both Canada & Scotland and their actions. Are they genuinely serving the interests of those battling addiction and the wider public? It’s crucial that we remain unswerving in our advocacy, focused on improving access to treatment and expanding the range of choices available. Our dedication to this cause must stay unwavering, immune to any attempts to dilute, divert, or steer our collective efforts away from the heart of our mission. #YouKeepTalkingWeKeepDying remains our rallying cry, a testament to our unwavering commitment to this cause.

Read Fran Yanor’s full article for more context

And read another one here about why you must have faith and belief in radical harm reduction no matter how absurd if you are to be educated in the “Evidence Base”