Harm Reduction Strategy

We are all aware of the destructive nature that drug addiction can cause to family and friends. Over the past few decades, drug addiction has become one of society’s most growing health problem in every major city across Canada. With this growing problem, many health organizations have been researching ways to treat people with drug addiction. One solution that has addressed the drug dependency problem is the position called harm reduction. By definition, these are policies and programs that are set up to reduce any drug related harm without actually ceasing the use of drugs.

For example, let’s take the example of a heroin addict who is a daily user and by whatever means must get his next fix or dose of heroin. This person might, and in many cases, use any hypodermic available, whether used or not, to shoot his dose. This action alone has been a contributor to the spread of diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV. The solution proposed some years ago was to set up needle exchange depots and supervised injection sites. Though this has shown a decrease in drug transmitted disease and overall higher sanitation for drug addicts it did not help curb drug addiction. Then again this was not its primary mandate.

Withdrawal & Methadone

Then there is the curbing of withdrawal from heroin such as used in the methadone treatment programs. When a person addicted to heroin wants to stop his consumption he is proposed to get onto the methadone program instead of enrolling in a drug rehabilitation program. The downfall to this is that people are increased in dosage over time and then when the person wants to stop Methadone the withdrawal symptoms are twofold those of heroin. Reports show some have been on the methadone program for up to 10 plus years. Some addicts actually continue to use heroin for the high but when no drug is available will use methadone to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Some people will use other drugs to get high while on the maintenance program.

Over the year there has been other research to help people addicted to alcohol and cocaine, some researchers believe to be on the verge of a new pill that will help alcoholics and cocaine addicts. Then again isn’t this just another drug to handle a drug addiction? There are many ways to treat substance abuse but it is doubtful that using one type of drug to knock out another type is the solution. Just as Heroin was produced to counter the effects of morphine and methadone was the solution for heroin. Aren’t we doing the same mistake with alcoholics and cocaine addicts?

All drug addiction requires is caring and professional counselors with proven rehabilitation programs. Substitute drugs for addiction may be useful by getting the person down through lowering dosage and up to a point where no substitution drugs are required, otherwise, is it really a solution?

Are you caught in the never-ending cycle of drug substitution, call and speak with our referral counselor about it today, he or she will help.


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