XIV HARM REDUCTION
In the moments after an unintentional overdose, two companions embrace, the spent vile of naloxone on the coffee table.There is no judgement nor anger, only understanding. There was always a risk this could happen, but safety measures were put in place with trust and compassion. The loss of a life has been prevented. Harm Reduction sits in the place once traditionally occupied by Temperance, a card reflecting the need to finding balance. While achieving balance in a person’s life is a worthwhile pursuit, it puts the emphasis on the individual to make that happen, demanding in some ways to simply overcome the great hurdles in one’s life to find inner peace. This telling ignores the roles communities, families, and partners have in helping achieve that balance. Like the traditional Temperance card, Harm reduction suggests that you have a long term vision of your goals, and you are working on achieving your aims while not harming others. Staying on the right path, however, means asking for directions at times, and knowing when you or a fellow traveller needs help. This card introduces the idea that creating a life filled with balance and moderation is something not only to foster in oneself but in others as well.
Reversed: Reversed, a vulnerable person must face their challenges alone in hiding and in shame, a situation which can become tragic. In the reverse position, the Harm Reduction card reflects a time in your life may be out of balance. You may need help to find that inner peace, but your own fear, shame, or anxiety may be holding you back from reaching out. Likewise, your biases may be guiding you toward harmful action (or inaction) toward others who may need your compassion. Are you living dangerously? What changes do you need to make to reduce the harm in your own life? In others?