What if there was a day where legalized injection sites for heroin and other illicit drugs were a normal sight next to the grocery store you purchase your vegetables? Where do we draw the line?
In some countries across Europe, a small possession of narcotics is decriminalized and addicts are instead encouraged to seek help. In other countries, controlled injection sites are already established, such as in our Canadian neighbor in Vancouver. Long-term studies are underway to test the effectiveness of such programs, but it raises many questions. Will they work as advertised by the politicians and advocates? Will they raise or decrease the prevalence of men’s substance abuse across the nation?
Legalized Injection vs. Addiction Treatment
There has been a satirical story circulating the news that New York State has legalized heroin injection sites. While that is categorically false, according to CNN.com and other reputable news outlets, the mayor of New York, has in fact, put a proposal on the table for a supervised drug injection center, which has received a visceral reaction from both ends of the spectrum.
As the heroin epidemic continues to sweep the nation and men’s overdose rates are at a record high, do we finally say the unmentionable, that the United States has miserably lost the War On Drugs? Perhaps we should follow the European model of decriminalization and instead focus on raising awareness about men’s substance abuse and offering lasting men’s addiction treatment solutions.
Evidence-Based Solutions to Men’s Substance Abuse
Here at Bright Futures Treatment Center of Boynton Beach, we believe in a softer approach that incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, group sessions, and individual counseling, along with holistic healing that allows the men under our roof to get to the root causes of their heroin or drug addiction. As a recovering addict myself, I do not believe in “supervised injection” but the total abstinence from any mood or mind altering substance and a comprehensive program of recovery. While the injection sites are a step forward from the public health viewpoint such as:
- Less crime as addicts are provided supervised drugs
- Less risk of disease transmission because the injection is supervised
- The injection programs offer to counsel and encourage further treatment
Beginning The Recovery Process
However, the whole idea of supervised injection is not what Bright Futures Treatment Center is about. We believe in eradicating substance abuse from your mind, body, and spirit fully, completely, once and for all. With relapse prevention education and life skills training, we prepare the men under our guided care for life after the treatment program is over. In my heroin addiction, a supervised injection would surely be helpful, but it would only prolong my misery. Going to a clinic every day just to feel “normal” is no way to reach your highest potential and live your life to the fullest. You are worth recovery. You are worth success and living a beautiful life full of joy and happiness. Whether you’re from the state of New York or across the country, allow our men’s recovery program to guide you to a brighter future, where warmth and wellness always go hand-in-hand.