Harm-reduction programs have been set up in Canada in order to prevent drug addicts and alcoholics from engaging in harmful activities that may put their lives in danger. This is a controversial Programme that believes that providing safe environments for addicts to engage in their activities is more realistic than trying to get them to quit and become rehabilitated.
Ottawa’s Inner City Health Project has an alcohol Programme that gives a shot of fortified sherry every hour to its participants.
This is because it is safer than having them taking Lysol or Listerine in order to get high while on the streets because of desperation.
In Toronto, the Public Health department provides crack kits that are safer than the makeshift ones used by many addicts. This is done in the hope that they are less likely to cut themselves with the makeshift kits and that they will not spread diseases through the cuts.
Vancouver has a safe-injection site that provides sanitised needles to drug users.
This will help to prevent spreading diseases through shared needles. Related paraphernalia for drug abuse is also made available at the site as well as emergency medical assistance and addiction counsellors are available to talk to the visitors to the site.
The philosophy behind these programs is that abstinence is unrealistic for some drug addicts. Any drug rehabilitation efforts will be unsuccessful, so the best way to deal with the situation is to give them safe environments for them to engage in their drug abuse.
It is very controversial, but the Canadian government believes reducing the harm of drug use is better than trying to get people into drug rehab.
It is believed that once addicts are not concerned about getting their next hit and being desperate enough to get it anywhere and under any circumstances and they have a place to do it safely, they may be more likely to begin thinking about getting drug rehabilitation.
They will be in a place that will make it easier for them to make the transit from substance abuse and begin the road towards being sober.
Only wish that South Africa dumb ass government would take some forward thinking steps in dealing with our rampant addiction issues.