In September 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Parliament approved prescription heroin. The world went crazy upon hearing Canada’s move to legalize marijuana. This move may be deemed controversial, but you would be surprised to know that it is a compassionate response to a drug problem that seems unconquerable.
Earlier this year in April, Trudeau made Canada’s commitment to legalized marijuana official, and went on with his decision and made the drug legal. This latest decision came due to the realization that there was no better antidote for a heroin addict than heroin itself. Trudeau has always prioritized the patient and his welfare. For a patient to be eligible for such a treatment, they are required to show that traditional methods of health-care have not worked in ending their drug addiction; in other words, it needs to be the last resort. Yet, regardless of Trudeau’s good reasoning behind the decision, this remains a novel, trailblazing move from the young Prime Minister.
As traditional methods like methadone and detox fail, supplying heroin up to 3 times a day in a sanitary clinic has become the most effective response. Traditional methods work, but up to 10 percent of patients suffer from chronic heroin dependence and any alternative drug is usually found incompetent. This heroin treatment encourages patient participation and indicates high patient return rate. The move also solves other issues that are not physiological.
A major concern for the street-use of heroin, besides its adverse physiological effects, is the form in which it is injected. Contaminated doses, poor injections, dirty needles, and other hazards accompanying the illegal use of the drug make it a health hazard.
Clean needles administered by a medical team will not lead to HIV, abscesses, or other related transmitted infections, illnesses, and diseases. Heroin prescription moves the dangerous drug out of the addicts’ hands and into professional hands. The move removes addicts from harm’s way and prevents them from committing any illegal acts. In fact, the move has shown to reduce criminal activity, which in turn reduces the demand on the criminal justice system.
Yet this issue is not all perks with no cons. The move is considered a harm reducing method rather than a harm eliminating one. Previous Conservative PM Stephen Harper and his administration were far more strict on drug usage in Canada and possess opposing viewpoints on drug use and prescription in Canada.
He prefered to punish addicts and eliminate the drug, while Trudeau sought to help addicts and reduce the drug. Despite this, many clinics are already backing Trudeau on his decision. One such clinic is Insite, a supervised injection site that already exists in Vancouver. Trudeau just gave a four-year extension to the facility, while Harper notably sought its closure.
Following the lead of 8 other European countries and their similar Heroin prescriptions, Trudeau acted upon the evidential notion that heroin will help and can help. This comes in time as Toronto’s medical office reported a 41 percent increase in drug deaths from 2004 to 2013 coming from the injections of the dangerous opioid. The data recognized its effectiveness and Trudeau acted upon it.
It was quite a political move, but it will hopefully prove to be an effective and positive one.