Harm reduction and zero tolerance

harm reduction services

While MDMA deaths are rising, they are still fortunately very rare. All this while every other attempt to reduce the demand or supply of drugs has failed and caused a catalogue of negative consequences associated with the zero-tolerance approach and the impossibility of the drug free targets.

Harm reduction definition psychology

I spend my working day with people whose lives have been ruined by drugs. The principle feature of harm reduction is the acceptance of the fact that some drug users cannot be expected to cease their drug use at the present time. Harm reduction emphasizes practical rather than idealized goals. These figures rise and fall, and lately we have seen some resurgence in teen drug use, but not to former peaks. Oh well. And third, while harm reduction does not involve support for illicit drug use, governments acknowledge that as long as injecting-drug use continues to occur, they have a responsibility to develop and implement public-health measures designed to reduce drug-related harm both to individuals and the wider community. Neither Howard nor Latham seemed to understand that the illicit drugs debate goes well beyond the relatively marginal albeit highly publicised question of support for or opposition to injecting rooms or prescribed heroin. So why not have guidelines for drugs? Meanwhile, there have been thousands of lives saved around the world through the administration of naloxone, which reverses the otherwise fatal effects of opioid overdose. Advertisement A festival goer is searched for drugs by police. Harm reduction should be neutral about legalization. This zero tolerance approach is applied oddly to a legal regulated drug: tobacco. Data from the Global Drug Survey makes it very clear that most people want to know how to use drugs more safely, and many seek out the right information. Because harm reduction demands that interventions and policies designed to serve drug users reflect specific individual and community needs, there is no universal definition of or formula for implementing harm reduction. In this complex situation, more high-quality information about the content and strength of pills, powders and crystals being sold as ecstasy is desperately needed.

This model views drug use narrowly as a criminal and moral issue, rather than one of public health. But as social care budgets are slashed and governments are starting to embrace population-based strategies such as behavioral economics to moderate unhealthy behaviours, having some common sense guidelines that highlight that taking less drugs less often is associated with a reduced risk of harm might be a useful benchmark for people to reflect upon.

harm minimisation

For example, at an event where someone dies there were probably many people who had taken the same drug and at higher doses but been OK. Guidelines will not fix everything By suggesting safer drug using limits or guidelines for illicit drugs I am not suggesting that drugs are safe.

Harm reduction deserves international political recognition for the lives it has saved, the lives it has improved and the health costs it has reduced.

Often delivered in the face of overwhelming resistance harm reduction has saved lives, averted infections and protected rights.

harm reduction essay

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