Drug addiction should be treated as a public health problem – it is not a crime.
Drug users are also people, but this rarely affects their treatment. This stigma associated with substance abuse in Canada is the result of laws that set off a retaliation before rehabilitation.
Alternatively, if the federal government decriminalizes all drugs, it will give priority to users and will make the impression of using them.
Stressing drug treatment treatment does not do much to resolve the longstanding problem of addiction in Canada. By taking a participatory approach to the addicts, we accept and not exclude and encourage their hopes of becoming healthy.
It is necessary to remember that the act of using is not more important than its intent. Decriminalizing drugs and recognizing the conditions that lead drug users will reduce stigma and reduce excessive drug use.
Many drug users use drugs as a way of self-healing, be it for physical or psychological relief of pain.
Think of an athlete who suffers from a severe injury and prescribes opiates to relieve pain. If their doctor suddenly interrupted their prescriptions – which was the case for some when OxyContin was delegated in 2012 – they had to find other means to relieve their pain, such as through black market dealers.
Decriminalization of drugs in Canada would be a constructive approach to reducing the stigma surrounding drug stigma while focusing on the consumer as a valuable person.
By financing drug use plans, harm reduction methods and health care for people who use substances, the government will give priority to consumer safety and will have greater control over the quality of all drugs.
Similarly, with the widespread prevalence of fentanyl in street drugs, a program of controlled substances would reduce the contamination and drug scavenging. In Ontario, opioid overdoses are becoming more common – now they rank as the third most common cause of accidental death in the province, with more than 5,000 deaths since 2000.
Introducing quality control on street drugs would also reduce crime rates. If consumers were to get their drugs from a state dispensary, they would not resort to crimes such as theft and prostitution to deal with them.
Decriminalization will make the health of users of substances a priority. Instead of spending money to tackle crime, the government can devote more resources to prevention and harm reduction programs such as health care, housing, and support groups.
This would not only save thousands of drug-threatened but also make cities safer by reducing drug-related crimes and allowing police officers to focus on heavier offenses. In other countries, this approach to drug abuse has proved to be successful.
Since the decriminalization of all drugs in 2001, the drug burden on the Portuguese criminal justice system has been drastically reduced. Opioid deaths and sexually transmitted diseases also drop significantly.
The Portuguese Government has continued to implement a job creation program that encourages consumers to contribute to society by giving them a sense of purpose and a quality of life. If Canada adopts such a strategy, it will lead to a society in which more people will be involved and encouraged to contribute.
Emerging consumers will feel accepted and will receive the necessary support to overcome the root cause of their substance abuse. In any case, it is more logical and realistic to highlight the reduction of harm and safe use of drugs than complete abstinence.
Education on the risks of taking drugs, as well as harm reduction and drug treatment is also essential to overcoming the stigma of drug abuse.
Offering one of the ways to prevent teaching is the set of Naloxone, a treatment that can temporarily reverse an overdose of opioids like fentanyl. These kits are currently available for free at Ontario pharmacies, where everyone with a valid OHIP card is offered training.
This is particularly important for students, given the frequent use of drugs at parties, bars and events such as Homecoming and Day of St. Patrick & apos; s.
While decriminalization is still far away, progress is being achieved. In July, Kingston Street Health Center released its overdose prevention site where local drug users could receive unlawful support, supervision, and clean supplies while using drugs.
There are real steps towards empathy and acceptance, although much has to be done to determine our current social and judicial treatment of drug users and how to deal with addiction.
We must support substance users with the help, love and compassion. After all, they are people who deserve respect as any other.
Geneviève Nolet is a second year of language, literature and culture.