UNIT 1: Dealing with Addiction – Harm Reduction
The idea of harm reduction as a strategy for dealing with addiction is a very controversial one. Harm reduction can be defined as programs or policies that aim to primarily reduce the health-related risks of continued drug use on individuals and society. Of the various forms of harm reduction seen, arguably the most controversial is the idea of supervised or safe injection sites. North America’s first legal safe injection site was in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area notorious for rampant drug use. Using the links and videos provided research and explore the idea of harm reduction, find different examples of harm reduction, and begin to think about and form your own opinion on harm reduction and safe injection sites. This last point will be the focus of the online discussion assignment.
• Insite – Supervised Injection Site
• Free Talk – InSite Supervised Injection Site – YouTube
• Supervised Injection Sites – Ontario
• Canadian Mental Health Association: Harm Reduction
• VICE: Inside Toronto’s Illegal Safe Injection Site
• World Health Organization: Injecting drug use
• Four Pillars drug strategy: City of Vancouver
• Toronto: Safe Injection Sites
• Canadian Nurses Association: Harm Reduction
Online Discussion: Harm Reduction
Using your research on harm reduction from Unit 1, provide your opinion on harm reduction on the harm reduction discussion page here. Your original discussion post should be two paragraphs:
• Comment on whether or not you agree with safe injection sites and provide at least two points to support your argument.
• Comment on whether or not you agree with the concept of harm reduction in general, using a different example of a harm reduction strategy other than safe injection sites to illustrate your point of view.
Once you have completed your original discussion post, reply to Navdeep’s post. Your reply discussion post should be one paragraph long and will be a response to Navdeep’s post that you either agree with or disagree with, and why.
Navdeep posted Nov 20, 2021 2:48 PM
Harm reduction is like a initiative taken by governments along with the support of health care system almost all over the world. This initiative is being taken by looking at the decreasing level of health quality generally among financially below average or homeless community. One of the main initiative is taken in the form of introducing “Safe injection sites” where drug addicted person can use clean and fresh needle or syringe to inject the drug in his/her body in the supervision of health care staff ( for example, a nurse). I agree with introduction of these sites because as mentioned in the free talk video provided in Unit 1, people tell the importance of these safe sites in both addicted and in normal people’s life. Before introduction of these sites addicted people were usually found in street, in the path of normal people, injecting illegal drugs with dirty needles. Additionally, they were had to share the needle due to less money for buying new ones that lead to increment in the number of HIV/AIDS affected patients all over the globe. But according to World health organisation, after introduction of these sites the proportion of HIV patients has decreased (2021). Secondly, the person who gets accessibility to such sites develops a socially positive concept in her/his mind or gets the positive vibe from mankind that can motivates him/her to get rid of drugs forever with the help of health care community. As mentioned in a blog of Toronto hall give in Unit 1, the health care community was able to safe the life a overdosed person who came to a safe injection site in Toronto (2017). These sites are not only helpful in increasing hygiene in public environment but also helps to save lives. The person who starts taking drugs cannot quit it without additional help. Additionally, in case of financially unable or homeless people the situation gets intense because they need addition mental support from someone to get rid of drugs. Otherwise they will end up with losing their live. So, these sites are essential for hygienic purpose along with the promotion of mankind.
According to me, concept of Harm reduction is very necessary. There are many parts in a nation or a city where people can’t access medical care due to poverty. But due to regulation of drugs they get addicted of them. In this case, it is the responsibility of government to take measures for betterment of the affected community. For example, in Waterloo, there is a Harm reduction initiative according to which “overdose prevention and Naloxone kits” are available with the health care staff to help people who get overdose of “opioids” (2021). Naloxone is a medication for short term relieve but it is effective to save a life from drug overdose. These kits are distributed to addicted people in many parts od Canada like Waterloo, Cambridge, Kitchener and many other. Some areas provide kits to specific person like homeless, clients of specific organisation or people above 18. Providing this kind of things to addicted person is just like providing new chance of living better life. There was an approach proposed in Europe for drug addicted people and it has four pillars: harm reduction, prevention, treatment and enforcement. This shows that Harm reduction will be the basic step towards accomplishment of goal of making world free from heath related issue along with free of drugs. Harm reduction has not only reduced the number of street drug addicted person but has also improved other fields like imparting sex education along with free equipment’s like safe and clean condoms. Overall, according to me Harm reduction concept is essential and globally acceptable for betterment of mankind.