Hi everyone, My name is Sultan Alrakah , my presentation is based on a video on Ted talk. The lecture was done by Mark Tyndall explaining how the use of the harm treatment model to solve the drug menace around the globe. Mark uses the model by Canada in putting forward a case for harm reduction model.
Harm reduction refers to the arrangement where drug addicts and drug users are provided with a good environment to use for their safety and the safety of the society (MaStockings, et al., 2016). Under harm reduction, addicts are provided with clean syringes in exchange for the used syringes. Mark explains how the model can be applied to help the addicts and ensure that there are no syringes lying around in a hazardous manner.
How the Model Works There are various perspectives of harm treatment with the most basic
of all being the attitude of the drug users. Rather than viewing the issue of drug use as a demand-based issue, the issue should be viewed as a supply issue. On the same note, drug use and drug addiction should not be viewed as law enforcement and criminal issue. At a higher level, harm treatment allows drug users and addicts to exchange their used and dirty syringes for new and clean syringes (Marlatt et al., 2011). At an advanced level of the model, communities set up drug centers where individuals can go and inject themselves in a supervised environment.
Legality and Policy As stated earlier, the use of drugs and dealing is viewed as a criminal
offense in the face of the law. According to Mark Tyndall, it is much more likely for drug users to be elected and jailed today than be offered help on how to get through the problem of addiction. Given that harm reduction can be viewed as the first step towards treatment of drug addiction, governments should design policies that prioritize treatment over the arrest and jailing (Marlatt et al., 2011). As a starting point, the government should deal with the drug issue by first encouraging the addicts to use the drugs safely and in a way that does not expose them to diseases. This can be complemented by setting up harm reduction centers where the addicts will be allowed to exchange their used syringes for clean ones. There should be a requirement that for one to receive a new syringe, they must trade in the old ones at the harm reduction centers.
In order to give the harm treatment projects a softer landing, the policies made should factor in the communities. Given that the drugs are used in the communities and the communities know the reasons why people fall into addiction, it would be easier to help the addicts with the involvement of the communities (D Alam- mehrjerdi et al., 2015). This can be done through public education and raising awareness on the benefits that come with harm treatment. The communities should be informed that the people will be much safer if drug use does not pose the problem of the spread of HIV and Hepatitis.
Social Viewpoint of Harm Reduction According to the norms in the society, drugs and drug use is an
abomination to the society. This stance is especially held when it comes to the abuse of hard drugs such as heroin and Cocaine. Other lighter drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes are not viewed with such levels of prejudice. As far as the society is concerned, drug users and drug addicts are viewed as social outcasts rather than members of the communities that need help (Nutt et al., 2015). However, according to Mark Tyndall, every addict in the society has a story and the reasons why they fell into addiction. Some of the main reasons why people go into drugs are emotional and physical abuse. People get into drugs to ease the pain that comes with going through a bad experience.
Harm Reduction and Improvement of Living Conditions Harm reduction reduces the addicts and the social risk of contracting
the HIV virus. Absence Harm reduction, addicts share syringes with each other and leave them idling in the environment. One of the methods that HIV can be spread is the sharing of piercing instruments. When there are harm reduction centers, this risk is reduced. Harm treatment also reduces the chances of people dying due to drug overdose (Radfar & Rawson, 2014). Through harm reduction, drug centers are established where addicts are able to inject themselves with drugs in a supervised environment. In this case, chances of overdose are reduced and thanks to the supervision.
Harm reduction reduces the cases of abusing I public places. Absence harm reduction centers, addicts may use the drugs in hiding or in public places. Abuse in public places is what entices new people to fall for the menace. Presence of a safe place where people can abuse eliminates this enticement risk. Harm reduction centers can be used as bonding centers where the officers can have conversations with them in order to understand them better and develop strategies that can be used in treatment (Moyers & Miller, 2013). His way, follow up strategies can have a softer landing due to the relationships created in the centers between the addicts and the officers. Lastly, the presence of harm reduction centers makes it easier to collect dirty and used syringes for the purposes of disposal.