There has been a significant push for harm reduction therapies to be enacted in many major cities. Government officials are being asked to provide funding for harm reduction centers, and many of these officials are pushing the funding through. The question is, are these centers beneficial?
What Is harm reduction?
For almost 40 years, there has been a push in the addiction treatment community to “accept” addiction as a medical condition and, instead of trying to treat it through drug rehabilitation, provide people a “safe place” where they can use drugs like heroin without having to worry about sharing needles or dying from an overdose.
The theory behind “harm reduction” is that addicts are going to use these substances anyway, so you might as well make it safe.
Supporters say that by providing clean needles for people to use, they are reducing transmittable diseases like AIDS and Hepatitis. This is true. They say that by providing them a safe place to use if they overdose, there will be someone there that can administer help. This may also be true.
But does it really address the issue with addiction?
The answer is no.
Why harm reduction doesn’t help
In theory, there may be some benefits to this service, especially concerning the transmission of diseases. But the reality is that these centers are not addressing the addiction and trying to provide help and a way to sobriety. They are merely accepting addiction and allowing people to continue to harm themselves through drug use.
Another issue with harm reduction centers is that most of them are open for only a few hours each day. Addiction is an around-the-clock medical condition and does not wait for the doors to open at a local harm reduction center. This further reduces the effectiveness that these centers have on such a serious medical condition.
Addiction recovery centers are the answer
If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, the important issue is not finding a place to feed the addiction; it is finding a place to get off the drugs. Going to drug rehab will allow you to overcome addiction and enter into recovery.
When you go to a substance abuse recovery center, you will work closely with a substance abuse counselor. This counselor will help you address all the addiction issues, including health issues and emotional or mental issues. They will help you get the medical care you need to feel better and to live better.
How the recovery center will help you
In drug rehab, you will learn things about yourself and how the addiction has impacted your life and the lives of those you love. It will teach you more than how to get off drugs and get on the road to recovery. It will teach you how to be in control of your life again.
Think about it, being in control of your life and doing the things you want to do, accomplishing your goals, and following your dreams because you are no longer burdened with addiction.
You will learn the benefits of recovery and how to enjoy these benefits. You will discover what triggers you to want to use drugs or alcohol and learn how to avoid these triggers or face them if they happen. Then, you will become empowered over your own life again, and it will be amazing.
Drug addiction needs to be addressed, not just accepted
Drug addiction can happen for many different reasons. Grouping everyone with addiction together as just saying, “well, they are going to do it anyway,” is not going to help someone who is in obvious need of help. Getting this person the help they deserve to overcome their addiction is what would be most beneficial.
While harm reduction centers may serve their purpose for a short-term issue, and the benefits of providing clean needles are very helpful in reducing disease transmission, addiction cannot be helped with apathy.
Summary on harm reduction
Helping those struggling with addiction must remain focused on rehabilitation so that the person suffering from the addiction has the ability to enter into sobriety. Empowering those suffering from addiction to take back control of their lives is beneficial to the person with the addiction and society as a whole. Everyone has something beneficial to contribute to society. They only need a chance to make that contribution.
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