“Harm reduction” is the title given to the act of handing out free clean needles, and alcohol swabs, to drug addicts as a means of preventing them from contracting transmittable diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV.
Is this really reducing harm when someone who is addicted to drugs is encouraged to continue in that lifestyle?
Participating in this lifestyle often results in feelings of paranoia, anger, violence, anxiety and depression and long-term effects of psychotic symptoms, lung damage, heart damage and, possibly, weakening of the immune system, even heart attack and stroke.
In addition to this, people addicted to drugs usually cannot hold down a job or properly take care of a family.
I believe the real solution is to focus long-term.
Abbotsford has some stage-one housing (for people on drugs) and detox. But there is a lack of stage-two housing for people now drug-free. Without stage-two housing, there is lack of motivation and success for a drug addict to get clean in the first place.
I believe that if Abbotsford’s efforts were placed on stage-two housing we would see more than just the streets being cleaned up; we would see lives restored.
After all, we are talking about more than drug use here.
We are talking about giving a person addicted to drugs the chance to get his/her life back.