Harm Reduction Essay

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Harm Reduction Human beings are naturally defensive and react in certain ways to things such as them feeling that someone is judging them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. When it comes to drug users, approaching an addict telling them “You must stop taking drugs!” or “Drugs are going to kill you!” has not and will never work. It is more effective and sensible to approach them by informing them of the dangers of a specific drug to inform them of the potential harms that come along with the abuse of the drug. This is exactly where the policy of Harm Reduction falls into place. “According to the International Harm Reduction Association (2002) harm reduction is described as policies and programs which attempt primarily to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of mood altering substances to individual drug users, their families and communities, without [necessarily] requiring decrease in drug use.(Perez)” One specific policy that adheres and follows the harm reduction approach is the Drug Policy Alliance. Their policy is considered to be a harm reduction approach because they acknowledge the fact that “A basic tenet of harm reduction is that there has never been, and will never be, a drug-free society” (Drug Policy Alliance) and have the same aims and objectives as the approach of harm reduction. This policy is more of an intervention than just a basic rehab that only focuses on the use of drug but not the bigger picture – the reason people use the drugs. Implications of implementing this approach may be “to reduce the dangers of drug use for the community and the individual, and to shift the focus of illegal drugs as primarily a criminal justice of medical issue to a social and/or public health iss... ... middle of paper ... ...inside of rehab because they generally do not have open access to drugs while in inpatient rehab. However, once they are believed to have overcame abusive drug use and are released, the go back to the same communities, are put in the same situations, hand around the same people and end up becoming the same addict that they were before. I believe that this approach to drug abuse is much more effective and it would be better if our policies actually followed this approach instead of neglectfully pushing it off insisting that this another way to promote the use of drugs because it is not. This approach solves more problems than in causes. Our current methods are to just arrest drug users, get them off the streets, possibly fine them and throw them in rehab or make them do community service hours. We would have less drug related charges if this approach was used more.

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