3 barbecue tips for harm reduction workers

I love a barbecue.   I’m not the most sociable of people, but occasionally I like to leave my little cave and talk to people about something other than drugs and harm reduction, and the barbecue is a great setting to do this in.

Eventually though somebody will ask me what I do for a living.  When I tell them I work in the alcohol and other drugs sector I get a variety of responses.  Often it is a long uncomfortable silence, or it may be a really bad joke to break the discomfort.  (I think we’ve all been asked whether this means we get the good drugs!)  Some people want to tell you the horrible story of the relative or friend who has had a problem with drugs, or just occasionally I’ll get somebody who will tell me just how wrong we’ve all got it and we should just stop being so ‘soft’ on drug users.

It’s this last response that really spoils my barbecue, no matter how nicely the steak is cooked.  Here I am armed with only a sausage in bread while some ill informed guest is going to tell me that I’ve got my job all wrong.  I mean I don’t theorise on the vagaries of accounting or how to build a bridge, mainly because I haven’t spent my time studying how to do such things.


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  1. […] a living to avoid yet another awkward or tiresome conversation about the nature of our work?  (See 3 Barbecue tips for Harm Reduction Workers to read some more about those awkward […]

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