Regarding the Daily Freeman’s Friday, Feb. 2 article — “Samadhi Under Fire”— Kevin Roberts and Joseph Maloney are, sadly, mistaken.
Samadhi’s approach of harm reduction is proven, again and again, to fight addiction far more effectively than punitive rehab approaches by meeting drug users where they are — encouraging rather than coercing more healthy behaviors. Making fentanyl test kits and Naloxone (and more) available to drug users have saved many lives in Ulster County. As Patricia Doxsey reported on the same day, “Opioid-related deaths decline in Ulster County despite a rise in overdoses, Department of Mental Health says.” This is largely due to the efforts of Samadhi Center.
In most places in America today, overdoses and deaths from overdoses are rising in tandem.
I was somewhat alarmed to see several people smoking marijuana in front of Samadhi one morning while waiting for a counselor. When I asked what they were doing smoking pot outside a recovery center, they replied in unison, “Harm reduction!” One of them said he used to smoke crack and that it’s been three months since he’d last smoked it. I’d call that a win.
I have severe essential tremor (and am scheduled for non-invasive neurosurgery soon to curtail it). As a result of the tremor, I began drinking too much alcohol. Counselors at Samadhi have encouraged and helped me to curtail my alcohol use.
Samadhi Center is an asset for Ulster County.
— Cameron Williams