‘Harm Reduction Policies Applied to Drug Use in the U.S.’ Is Lecture Topic at MCCC on Feb. 12 


WEST WINDSOR - Harm reduction with regard to drug use in America will be the topic of a lecture at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) as part of the college’s Spring 2020 Distinguished Lecture Series.

Michael James Prohaska will deliver his lecture “Pragmatism vs. Puritanism: Harm Reduction Policies Applied to Drug Use in the United States” on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at noon in the Communications Building, Room CM108 on the college’s West Windsor Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Prohaska approaches his lecture from the standpoint that drug use in the United States has never been dealt with effectively, especially with regard to the loss of lives. Harm reduction policies — that is, public health policies designed to lessen the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with various human behaviors — put safety first, and leave out the moral posturing that has always hampered positive results. He notes that one of the key benefits of harm reduction is taking drug use out of the shadows thereby reducing the stigma and shame which is sometimes more harmful than the drugs themselves.

The speaker will discuss the basic theory and history of harm reduction and describe how current policies directly contribute to the growth of drug subcultures and recidivism through labeling and intolerance.

Prohaska was raised in Jamaica Queens and received a B.A. in English from St. John’s University. After 25 years in the private sector Prohaska returned to academia and received an M.A. in Sociology from William Paterson University. The subjects he teaches include: Social Deviance, Violence in the Community, Urban Sociology, Social Problems, and The Sociology of Drug Use and Behavior.

For more information on MCCC’s Distinguished Lecture Series, call (609) 570-3324 or visit www.mccc.edu/lecture.

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As part of MCCC’s Distinguished Lecture Series on Feb. 12, Michael Prohaska will delve into the theory and history of harm reduction and discuss how policies are failing in his lecture, “Pragmatism vs. Puritanism: Harm Reduction Policies Applied to Drug Use in the United States.”