Re: QotD

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Posted by Louis on July 31, 2006 at 21:43:31:

In Reply to: QotD posted by Louis on July 26, 2006 at 23:22:12:

Evidently the situation with regard to this sort of thing is pretty different over there as compared to here. I read something today to the effect that about 72% or so of needle exchange transactions in Scotland were conducted in community pharmacies. A large part of it is due to the different healthcare systems. Since almost everything comes under the National Health Service here, including drug misuse services, it's all funded by the government and pharmacies get paid for this sort of activity. Last month, my pharmacy, which does has relatively little of this sort of thing got about 70 or so essentially from the NHS for what we did. Not to mention that we are reimbursed for all the equipment, drugs, etc. Drug misuse has been quite a big issue recently, but the emphasis is on the government to do something about it.

The point about patients on methadone still having custody of their kids is quite tricky, but the way I look at it is, being on treatment is an awful lot better than injecting illegal drugs and all the other unsafe lifestyles that go along with that. Plus, if people think that going onto treatment will lead to automatically losing their kids, it'd be a major disincentive to actually trying to get their lives sorted out a bit. There are surprisingly many of the addicts I've come across who do actually have young children. I guess it's not so surprising if you think about it a bit. They're not exactly likely to be in any fit state to be thinking about safe sex or anything like that, and the children can be a major reason for some people to get onto treatment and get out of the bad situation they were in.

The safe injecting room thing is interesting. I'd be intrigued to see how it goes there. It has been put forward as a proposal over here very recently and I'm not really sure whether it would work or not. Having recently watched a video of someone trying to inject in an alley though, I am coming round to seeing the possible benefits.

I must say though, as much as I support services for drug misusers and am interested and involved in it, I totally do not agree with the idea of decriminalising any of the currently illegal drugs. Especially not the really hard stuff like heroin and cocaine. Although legalising them might take some power away from drug dealers and make it safer in some ways i don't think this would weigh up favourably against the problems. The greater accessibility of the drugs would encourage more widespread use and accessibility to everyone, including vulnerable people. The harm they cause, from risk of overdose to ease of addiction would be amplified many times. If legalisation was the solution then we wouldn't have such problems with tobacco and alcohol. That's just my opinion though.


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