For my research essay I will be examining the effectiveness of treating a drug addiction with drugs themselves. It is a considerably counterintuitive thought, as drug addicts seeking rehabilitation would want anything but what’s causing the problem itself. This tactic has been employed in Vancouver with limited success so far, effectively causing addicts to become the least destructive possible. In other words, it won’t stop an addict’s addiction, but it will help prevent it from getting out of hand and causing collateral damage.
That’s either limited success or total success, depending on the program’s goal(s). Critics will call it a failure if it doesn’t end addiction. Program leaders will call it a success if it results in, what?: 1) some addiction cessation; 2) less prostitution, fewer robberies and muggings; 3) better health as measured by fewer hospital visits?; you complete the list.
The analysis of both the positives and negatives will be essential for this topic, as both are highly prevalent in this method of approaching drug control. Multiple viewpoints will be used, including primary sources from addicts themselves as well as rehabilitation services.
Background: This article is the primary source for this argument, as it provides a clear example of where the practice of fighting drugs with drugs is being used.
Your reader learns very little from this description. Review the models for this sort of entry. Entirely made-up example:
This article explains the program in use in a particularly problematic neighborhood of Vancouver where addiction is “epidemic” and the neighborhood is blighted by the effects of drug abuse including open prostitution, breaking-and-enterings, muggings, vagrancy, . . . . you complete the description.
It further identifies the goals of the program as primarily a public safety issue, not a health issue; that is, the program will be considered successful if it “cleans up the neighborhood,” whether addicts get clean or not.
How I intend to use it: This article will provide me with a viewpoint on scrapping rehab and giving addicts their “fix” as a means to fix the drug problem. It also brings in some secondary sources on different viewpoints that I may also use.
Again, an expanded and much more specific (but again made-up) explanation is required here.
This article demonstrates the proven benefits of giving addicts their “fix” compared to trying to rehabilitate them, as solution to the drug problem. It does so by defining “the drug problem” as the negative effects of addiction on the community. Rehab attempts to “cure” the addict. This Vancouver program attempts to “cure” the neighborhood.
Background: Sourced from the article above, this article provides more examples of where heroin was used to treat heroin addiction, such as in Great Britain and Switzerland.
How I intend to use it: It will be used for just as it implies, a source for other examples on treating drugs with drugs. It also addresses some of the public scrutiny around the strategy.
Background: Once again sourced from the first source, this article focuses on more of the negatives of this counterintuitive treatment. It centers around an addict who claims that their drug situation has gotten worse as a result of this treatment program.
How I intend to use it: This source will provide a strong negative viewpoint on the topic.
Background: This article focuses on the rehabilitation program of Vancouver that was discussed in the first article, called The Four Pillars. It addresses the use of methadone and some peoples’, such as Jim O’Rourke’s, opinions on this system.
How I intend to use it: This is another negative source opposing the original article. It will be used as argument against the Vancouver system.
5. Four Pillars
Background: This website is information based on Four Pillars, the Vancouver drug strategy that hopes to curb drug abuse by supplying addicts with drugs, preventing them from participating in much more negative things, such as drug trafficking and violent drug behavior.
How I intend to use it: This source is pro-Four Pillars, as is to be expected from its own website. It is primarily fact-based, so it will be a good basis for information regarding positive aspects to the counterintuitive idea.