One of the more common, but not often discussed, concepts in drug treatment is “harm reduction.” Essentially, the idea is that it’s bad enough that you’re struggling with addiction, you don’t also need to be struggling with hepatitis or AIDS. This is why heroin addicts can get clean needles from some resource centers, and why Canada has debuted what might be the world’s first crack pipe vending machine.
Again, the idea is not to make it easier to smoke crack, but to keep people addicted to crack from making their lives worse. At least that’s the plan, according to CTV News:
But it’s not all fun and games – the society hopes the machines will spark a broader conversation about the positive benefits of harm reduction. “This is one piece of the larger puzzle,” [director Kailin] See said. “You have to have treatment, you have to have detox, you have to have safe spaces to use your drugs of choice and you have to have safe and clean supplies.”
If you were wondering what the going market rate was for a Pyrex crack pipe, you can get this for a quarter. They are designed to be disposable, although one hopes area crack addicts conform to Canadian stereotypes and dump their pipes in trash receptacles.
Needless to say, the idea that there are crack pipe vending machines in downtown Vancouver is not exactly popular with everybody, and there’s an ongoing debate about whether this is reducing harm or just enabling addiction. But considering that most people get their smoking materials from incredibly sketchy gas stations, in the long run it’s probably a better idea to just sell the crack pipes at cost.
Via CTV News
(Image courtesy of dj denim on Flickr.)
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