Starting in 2021, drug overdoses have killed more than 100,000 people in the United States every year. While politicians used the crack and heroin epidemics of the late twentieth century as a pretext to introduce mass incarceration, mandatory minimum sentencing, three-strikes laws, and racial profiling, all of which disproportionately targeted Black and brown people, so many white people have died of overdoses over the past decade that the rhetoric around the opioid epidemic has changed dramatically. Today, even racist conservatives acknowledge the opioid epidemic as a social crisis—but how to address it remains an open question.

Anarchists fight against the conditions that give rise to drug addiction, the ways that the authorities take advantage of addiction to inflict additional damage on communities, and also against addiction itself. In the following reflection, Angustia Celeste revisits harm reduction strategies through the lens of personal tragedy and grief.

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