Addicts are being helped
Controversial topics and opinions always come with skeptics. Giving Heroin addicts drugs is no different. These skeptics and their rebuttal are grounded in their beliefs. They believe that the effectiveness of rehab is high enough to help all addicts, that giving addicts drugs is only enabling them, and the we are blackmailing them into “peacefully dying”
Rehabs promote themselves as the best possible option for addicts when in reality they aren’t. Rehabs say that it is a unique journey for all addicts and that every addict is on their own path, but yet they expect the same program they offer to work on every addict. Unfortunately, as much as I would love for that to work it does not.
Even further than that, the amount of addicts who don’t even get the option to go to rehab makes another cause for concern. According to “Rehab Rates and Statistics” by Wendy Manwarren, “a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that as many as 90 percent of people who need drug rehab do not receive it.” How are we supposed to trust our rehabs to help our addicts when they are only helping 10%. Even if we counted that 10%, a percentage of those addicts relapse and dropout as well as go back several times to try different treatment options. Rehab centers believe that relapse isnt failure and that they just need to start rehab again, but after a certain amount of relapses something needs to be done.
Rehab is not just a few months, it is the rest of an addict’s life if they want decent odds of staying in recovery. Also taken from “Rehab Rates and Statistics”, “There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to treatment, but it’s most successful when individuals complete the entire course of their treatment and continue with the aftercare programs.” It does not end with rehab; they have to continue in programs for years if not the rest of their lives to actually stay clean, but they don’t tell you that. Instead rehab centers hide behind their flashy claims and base their statistics off of completion rates and not success rates.
Some specialists also believe that this is just a way of killing our addicts in a kind way. Taken from “Vancouver Combats Heroin by Giving its Addicts the Best Smack in the World”, they say, “ put it in stark terms, saying the city is killing addicts with kindness. “We might as well put a bullet in their head,” O’Rourke told him. “We’re killing them. We are just doing it in a much nicer way.” This argument can be completely shut down because of the fact that if we are administering the drugs we decide how much they get. Not only do we make sure they are getting a dose their body can handle but we would also be injecting them with sterilized tools and by a medical professional. What made this article even better is that they completely contradicted themselves later on by interviewing addicts who said, “ that he needs free heroin or else he’ll break into a car. Take your pick.” The addicts are all for this new program, they are blatantly saying that they are going to resort to crime.
Along with many other points made in the “Vancouver Combats Heroin by Giving its Addicts the Best Smack in the World”, they also mention, “It could lead some to believe the city is giving into an unspoken form of blackmail.” Blackmail is a completely wrong term to describe this program. Blackmail is something used to force unwilling people to do something they don’t want to do. These addicts have expressed their gratitude for this program and how it has helped them sustain themselves. One addict mentions in the article, “a long-term drug addict named Kevin Thompson, says he is able to hold down a job thanks to the program”. That doesn’t seem to fit the definition of blackmail at all. In fact these addicts are continuously bettering themselves because of the program and are able to finally start cleaning themselves up because they aren’t so worried about where their next fix is going to come from. It’s not blackmail if the city and the addict win.
Furthermore this program is not offered to the masses of addicts. This program is offered to only the addicts who have tried continuously to better themselves through rehab and multi step programs only yor find themselves using again. This program is for only the addicts who have lost all ability or courage to get clean and just need to be safe.
Enabling addicts is a big discussion as well. What a lot of people don’t know though is that most addicts that are being enabled are functioning addicts who have homes and jobs. Enabling often comes from loved ones who are covering for them at their job or lying to other family about their situation, not often does it happen to addicts on the street which is who this program would solely be for. “The Truth About Enabling” by Family First Intervention says, “When a person with a substance use disorder is enabled it lessens the likelihood they will see the need for change.” But addicts on the street are using drugs because they need change. These street addicts want to get out of their situation, so they use drugs to do that. But while constantly worrying about affording and getting the drugs, they lose sight of the change they are craving. By creating security with the drug they will have more time to pick up their pieces and create some change for themself.
It is important to also realize that when talking about addicts we are not the number one thing enabling them, it’s the drug itself. Their addiction is enabling them to live the life they have. No matter if we give them the drugs or they find them on the street the addiction itself is what is enabling them. They will get their drugs with or without the help of this program. The benefit of it is that it will keep these addicts healthy, functionable, and above all, alive.
Often people try to help addicts with what they think is right for them, but not taking into consideration what is actually helpful. “The Truth About Enabling”, states, “trying to help often leads to more harm than good.” When loved ones try to force rehab, multi step programs, or even by cutting off the resources they have, more often than not just leads the addict down an even worse path because now you have turned on them. Why force addicts to live lives they don’t desire at all, let’s just make the life they live comfortable. It’s hard to watch a love one struggle or anyone at all but it’s important that we figure out what’s actually best for the addict, and not for the family.
Giving addicts drugs is the best option we have in front of us. Obviously the options we are giving them now are not helping them at all and something new needs to be tried. The benefits this program offers will lower crime, provide safe drugs and safe tools, while also making the lives of our homeless addicts more bearable. This program isn’t creating addicts, it’s saving them.
The truth about enabling(April 10, 2019) Family First Intervention
Vancouver combats heroin by giving its addicts the best smack in the world (February 4, 2015)Bradley Campbell
Drug Success Rates and Statistics(October 1,2022) Wendy Manwarren
If you could give me feedback on how to make this sound more purposeful, and include my perspective throughout that would be helpful
You cite good material here, PinkMonkey, and often in the right place, but just as often, you miss the point of the source, or deploy it ineffectively. I’ll return for Feedback when I can, but for now, I’ve posted the provisional Grade you requested.
Your punctuation around quotations needs a lot of attention, too, PM! 🙂
—You want to diminish the value of Rehab as a solution for drug addiction in Vancouver.
—So: you make a claim that Rehab doesn’t work the same for every addict.
—The RIGHT EVIDENCE to back you up here would be statistics about how FEW addicts actually kick their habits after one Rehab.
—You could follow that up with a statistic about how many addicts REMAIN ADDICTED after MULTIPLE rehab attempts.
—You might throw in a quote from a Rehab expert who says what you’ve suggested: “The trouble with our efforts is that every addiction is the same, but every addict is different. They respond differently to every sort of attempt to rehabilitate them. For some, we haven’t found a solution yet.” (I made this up, but I guarantee you it’s out there for you to find.)
—Instead, you offer us a statistic about how few addicts can get treatment at all.
—This is a very valuable argument IN FAVOR OF the Vancouver Harm Reduction technique, but it doesn’t belong in THIS PARAGRAPH about the difficulty of tailoring programs to addicted individuals.
The SECOND HALF of Paragraph 2 is closer to what we’re looking for above.
Some of THIS applies too to the need for tailored programs
Mostly you need to reorganize into two or three paragraphs that address some main ideas:
1. Rehab programs and services for addicts are underfunded, understaffed, hard to access, and unsuccessful at attracting those who need it most.
2. Even when addicts get into the program, they require various treatment programs and expert interventions to do what’s nearly impossible: break an addiction.
3. Rehab fails more often than not. Success is rare, and usually follows REPEATED failures before something finally works.
4. During the years a successful rehabilitation can take, addicts are still dependent on the drug and will resort to crime to get it.
Anyone who says “breaking the addiction would be better” is right.
Anyone who says “giving addicts heroin is enabling them” is wrong.
Heroin isn’t given to first-time users. The program serves fewer than three dozen hardened addicts, right? Those who have failed at rehabilitation repeatedly?
The program doesn’t keep them addicted (They do that themselves.). It keeps them alive and healthy enough to function while they undergo their ongoing rehabilitation efforts. It keeps them from committing crimes.