Drug use activist Paul Cherashore spoke to our Solutions Journalism: Covering Addiction class on Tuesday. He said drug users have not been included in city officials’ conversations about addiction. For example, Cherashore said drug users’ perspective would help shape the set-up of a comprehensive user engagement site, which the city announced it would support the opening of about two months ago.

The primary difference between harm reduction and drug use rights activists is the latter’s focus on the right to use substances, while people advocating for harm reduction are primarily concerned with keeping people alive so they can eventually achieve sobriety, Cherashore said. He argued society does not assign worth to someone unless they have an abstinence-based recovery.