Using Community Engagement Tools to Develop More Successful Harm-Reduction Strategies Among People Who Use Intravenous Drugs
Author(s)Healy, Kaitlin Elizabeth
Community Engagement; Harm Reduction; People Who Inject Drugs; Public Health; Urban Bioethics
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The current opioid epidemic has had grave financial and mortal costs for our nation, and the numbers continue to climb despite our best efforts. In spite of attempts to limit the prescription of opioids and implementation of harm reduction strategies, it is clear that we are not doing enough for people struggling with drug addiction. There are many voices present in the war on drugs, however one that is noticeably absent from the conversation is that of people who inject drugs. It is clearly time to try something new which requires a fresh approach and a new point of view. Confronting the current crisis using a public health approach addresses the associated moral challenges faced in the past and provides a new lens to view potential challenges and solutions. With this new approach arises the need for a public health ethical framework to make ethically informed, community engaging, evidence based decisions on a societal, public health, and everyday level. In addition to this new public health ethics framework, the engagement of the community of people who inject drugs is no longer negotiable in order to develop more effective harm reduction interventions and policies.