Harm Reduction Essay

Harm Reduction Essay

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Substance abuse is a grim issue that affects the Canadian inmate population; it can be defined as overindulgence in or dependence on an addictive substance, especially alcohol or drugs. Within Canada, 80% of offenders entering the federal prison system are identified as having a substance abuse problem; this goes beyond mere indication of tougher drug legislation, it uncovers further discrepancy. Due to the immense majority of offenders affected by this complex mental illness, in addition to varied levels of individual cognitive ability. Consequently conventional abstinence-based treatment methods may not benefit all offenders. Untreated, this dynamic risk factor precursor’s future offending, as a study reveals dependency on illegal drugs is the single most serious risk for repeated offending. It has been established substance control is a far more feasible short term goal than outright eradication. With this ideology, the premise of one’s analysis will be on substance abuse control methodologies, gauging effectiveness and overall success in achieving its purpose. The harm reduction model the most prevalent ideology within the large spectrum of substance control methods, it is defined by the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction as any program or policy designed to reduce drug-related harm without requiring the cessation of drug use. In essence instead of adhering to the conventional eradication style practices aforementioned, this style focuses on helping the offender cope with their mental illness. This not only can encourage offenders to take active participation within their treatment, but makes them the directors of their own rehabilitation using their own will power to gauge treatment. Although the harm reduct...


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...aken by users, the statistics in favor of harm reduction seem irrelevant as these individuals spend the same amount of hospital days per person as several people on average.
With such statistical information it is unsurprising that governments have not fully embraced the harm reduction concept, with some countries reverting back to older methods. For instance, Canada is on the verge of closing the dangerous In-site injection facility in Vancouver and reallocating funds to traditional inpatient treatment--real treatment that promotes eventual abstinence. One can conclude that the effectiveness of harm reduction is a very questionable topic as not only does it aid in offender substance abuse, but at what cost. The topic of harm reduction provokes a deeper thought, what happened to prevention methods and what about them is not working?

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Harm Reduction Essay

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