The harm reduction program is carried out by addressing the population’s declining health quality, which is frequently financially disadvantaged or homeless. It is risky to take intravenous drugs in public settings such as parks, tunnels, and public restrooms. Controlled injection sites, overdose prevention facilities, and drug intake rooms are all names for safe injection locations (Bozza & Berger, 2020). I think that safe or regulated injection locations can serve as a bridge to therapy. With the health care given in these places, it is hoped that more overdoses may be avoided and that more users in need of assistance can be reached (Hawk et al., 2017).
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Safe injection shelters can save lives and help addicts get back on their feet. Moreover, the staff there develops connections with guests. It can be quite beneficial in getting these individuals into different treatment programs. Employees in these locations are in the best position to deliver information to users when they are ready for assistance. Most importantly, they provide sterile injection equipment, such as syringes, clean plates, filters, and tourniquets (Bozza & Berger, 2020). Clients are given medications or injected with them and provided with life-saving assistance since the staff is ready to respond to an unexpected overdose.
The most common critique of most harm reduction approaches, which I share, is that they are similar to maintaining addiction in some way. Many drug abusers are completely aware that harm minimization programs equip them with specific safety mechanisms (Hawk et al., 2017). They know they may continue to use drugs with relative impunity in these centers. Because they make it simpler for active addicts to fuel their diseases, these programs may appear to grant implicit sanctions to substance misuse (Bozza & Berger, 2020). The purpose of maintaining methadone, for example, is to gently wean a person off the drug by gradually lowering the dosage (Hawk et al., 2017).
However, this might entail years of regular clinic visits to decrease physical impulses while doing nothing to address the psychological problems that contribute to addiction. Deepening addiction, physical and mental deterioration, family collapse, and generational drug misuse are dangers and consequences that continue to emerge with psychological addiction.
I agree with Navdeep on the general benefits of safe injection centers and their possible long-term effects. Indeed, their provision of relatively safe space, clean syringes, and lack of prosecution can lead to increasing hygienic situations in the lower classes of society. The mentioning of the statistics from the Word Health Organization and several blogs regarding the decrease of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients and cases of saving the life from overdose by workers of safe injections center is also essential in the context. However, the legality of such centers is still in limbo and it’s an overall psychological effect on the population.
Indeed, the centers’ staff can engage in the possible psychological help and realization of the needed treatment. As a backlash, such centers can become a melting pot for drug addicts who will get their continuous free dozes. Overall, the harm reduction concept is still in its early development, and it is hard to predict its long-term consequences. I agree with Navdeep on the fact that it helps to reduce the number of street drug addicts and promotes drug and sex education. On the other side, it is too early to make judgments on this multifaceted issue.
Bozza, S., & Berger, J. (2020). Safe injection sites: A moral reflection. The Linacre Quarterly, 87(1), 85-93.
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Hawk, M., Coulter, R. W., Egan, J. E., Fisk, S., Friedman, M. R., Tula, M., & Kinsky, S. (2017). Harm reduction principles for healthcare settings. Harm reduction journal, 14(1), 1-9.