Harm Reduction is Death Reduction –  

Sep. 29, 2020 – Without it, Berry entered the halfway house unmedicated. Because he had been abstinent for months, his tolerance was far lower than it was when he entered rehab on May 10.

Not even a month after his discharge, Berry, a father of two, died from an overdose on July 23.

“He called when he was in the inpatient facility and told me, ‘They are going to wean me off this because they’re having some trouble finding a place to send me,’” Hornak told MedPage Today. “I believed he would be okay, that he was in a system that was intended for him to get better.”

“He didn’t want to die,” she said. Stories like Berry’s are common in the addiction treatment field, specialists told MedPage Today. At many addiction treatment centers, follow-up care is rarely provided post-discharge, OAT certification is not required, and many are centered around a “12-step” program or similar abstinence-only treatment methods. Programs patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous can be lifesaving for some, but are not backed by research.



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