We’re repeatedly seeing “harm reduction” appear in articles with the label “controversial” always included. “Harm reduction” refers to practices that may seem counterintuitive to the typical person:
- treatment instead of punishment for drug related crimes
- “safe” spaces for drug use (including illegal drugs likeheroin)
Especially the individual who has never struggled with an addiction might think these measures would encouraging continued use of the drug. But the reality is that almost all addicted people want to stop but cant due to their physical and psychological dependence on the substance. So keeping them in the health care system will lead to closer monitoring of their well-being, and some potentially life saving care to be administered in the instance where an overdose occurs.
What’s Controversial about Humane & Effective Care?
There shouldn’t be anything controversial about treating alcoholism or drug addiction like any other disease and providing the most compassionate care with the highest likelihood of success. When you see techniques
The Alternatives are Not Great
To continue to encourage the drug dependent among us to hide in the shadows will lead to:
- higher instance of fatal overdose
- higher rates of HIV (and other diseases) among the “at risk” populace
Policies that encourage safety and supervision will ultimately lead to better outcomes. There are extreme “trade offs” but the evidence is clear from other countries that have instituted similar strategies to help the “at risk” population of drug users and virtually eliminated the occurrence of fatal overdose.