Harm is a concept that permeates behavioral and public health discourses on addiction. Examining addiction recovery services in settings beyond the OECD led me to the question: What does harm mean in an un-urban, un-Western, and un-democratic space? While some emphasize the human rights potential of reducing harm, others speak to the violence of cure. My ethnographic research in a Therapeutic Community (TC) for drug treatment in Southwest China pushed me to consider how the potential for reducing the harms of illegal substance use balance with the complex psychological demands of cure. The alliance linking Sunlight Therapeutic Community with the provincial drug abuse institute and a foreign NGO was fragile. At the TC, they had difficulty weaving the Western psychological construct of the singular self through the Chinese scaffolding of institutional and cultural practices around the group. In thinking with the concepts of harm and reducing harm, I move across time and space to consider how current tensions link to and reflect: 1) the historical harms of opium imperialism; 2) reducing harm in translation; and, 3) reducing harm in the recent psycho-boom.