Global: Harm Reduction ONLY Filters are Not Effective Drug Policy!

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Toward Healthy Drug Policy in the United States – The Case of Safehouse

In finding an overdose-prevention site to be a legitimate public health measure, he relied on the consistent scientific evidence that such facilities have both therapeutic value for participants and public health benefits. This respect for international evidence was striking, given how great a barrier the CSA has been to applying health services innovations and research findings from peer countries in the United States.

The judge’s next step was to reject the U.S. attorney’s restrictive interpretation of the law. McHugh started by observing that “no credible argument can be made that facilities such as safe injection sites were within the contemplation of Congress either when it adopted § 856(a) in 1986, or when it amended the statute in 2003.” Adopting a conservative approach to statutory interpretation, McHugh was disinclined to stretch the law to prohibit an activity that Congress had not considered. He used the rest of his opinion to consider whether the statute’s language was even applicable to Safehouse.

Dalgarno Institute Comment:

Safe and Drug Use Consumption – The misappropriated nomenclature

The lens for both investigation and interpretation for drug use ‘management’, must have demand, supply and harm reduction filters, not simply the latter.

The continuing growth in the misuse of harm reduction only vehicles that end up endorsing, empowering, equipping or enabling ongoing drug use (thus both undermining the two other vital pillars of harm minimization – being Supply and Demand Reduction) is not simply an emerging phenomena, but a now entrenched one.

All harm reduction vehicles, whether pharmacotherapy or consumption mechanisms such as injecting rooms and needle/syringe programs, MUST have a sunset clause on them to be an effective drug policy tool. The exiting of the harm causing enterprise of drug use IS supposed to be the goal of harm reduction, not the continuation of it, and particularly at the expense of the non-drug using public.

There is no argument that more needs to be done, but it is the effective and uncompromising collaboration of all three pillars of Harm Minimization that will see the change needed. However, as long as harm reduction ONLY mechanisms are used to ‘re-interpret’ drug policy and implementation, then cessation of drug use is perpetually sabotaged, and harms grow!

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See also

Needle & Syringe Program – An Australian Overview

Dealing With Addiction – Research Repor


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