Proposal+5—themildewmuncher7

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.
–DSH

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.

  1. Heroin in Vancouver

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.

2. 2009 Giving Heroin to Heroin Addicts

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.

3. Heroin Downsides

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.

4. Methadone Debate

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.

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6 Responses to Proposal+5—themildewmuncher7

  1. davidbdale says:

    This has been a very popular topic for the last two semesters, mildew, but it hasn’t resulted in an “A” paper yet. The tendency of students who choose it has been to rely on the provided news accounts as their sole source material, and to make bland statements about either, 1) the shortsightedness of providing addicts with drugs instead of “curing” them, or 2) the “better than nothing” advantage of making addicts less likely to commit crimes to support their habits. Best grades will be reserved for writers who dig deeper and bring in support from unexpected academic sources. Be ready to be challenged on any simplistic explanations.

    Reply, please.

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    • themildewmuncher7 says:

      I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. It’s good to know this is a rather difficult topic, and it makes me wonder what is required of me to “dig deeper” and provide what you may consider unexpected sources. Perhaps a meeting with you is in order? Or would you prefer me to figure out what you mean entirely on my own? Thank you.

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      • davidbdale says:

        Happy to meet. Click on Syllabus in the menu bar below the header image at the top of the blog. Find the link to Professor Conference Chart and select any time segment(s) you want from my Wednesday/Friday office hours.

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  2. themildewmuncher7 says:

    The goto approach to dealing with drug and alcohol addiction has always been rehabilitation of some sort. Its intuitive design of edging addicts away from their narcotic crutch makes logical sense, and is thus adopted by most of the world. As with everything, however, it is not the only way to deal with the issue. Recently, cities like Vancouver have begun to introduce a significantly different tactic in helping addicts of drugs, specifically heroin. Instead of attempting to lean the individuals off of the drug, they are challenging another front by actually supplying the addicts with drugs for free. Not only will this help curb the drug-related crimes in the area, but it will allow addicts to focus on leading a more productive life while not worrying about how they’ll get their next fix.

    Vancouver, along with a slew of European nations before them, have begun to treat drugs with drugs. And no over the counter medicine is involved here; they’re giving heroin addicts heroin in an effort to combat some of the adverse effects of having addicts in their area, such as drug crime rates being higher than they’d like. They have adopted this in favor of traditional rehabilitation, which does not have a one hundred percent success rate like this claims to have, albeit with radically different results. In seeking to be different, cities like these have also opted to reap the rewards and consequences of this new approach.

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    • davidbdale says:

      The go-to approach to dealing with drug and alcohol addiction has always been rehabilitation of some sort. Its intuitive design of edging addicts away from their narcotic crutch makes logical sense, and is thus adopted by most of the world.

      –What is intuitive about this approach? Won’t almost every addict who edges close to “clean” and finds that she can function pretty well draw the conclusion that she should be able to maintain that “nearly clean” status and function well enough? In other words, if we teach addicts that there’s a “range of addiction,” aren’t we reinforcing every addict’s belief that she can “pick it up or put it down at any time”?

      As with everything, however, it is not the only way to deal with the issue. Recently, cities like Vancouver have begun to introduce a significantly different tactic in helping addicts of drugs, specifically heroin.

      –Why, if the “weaning” approach is the gold standard, did Vancouver feel compelled to try something unproven? Was it because they were tired of doing things the easy way? Or was it because they weren’t getting the desired result from the traditional treatment? Or was it because they don’t think the one approach works for every addict? If that’s the answer, how do they choose who to admit to this particular program, and why?

      Instead of attempting to wean the individuals off of the drug, they are challenging another front by actually supplying the addicts with drugs for free.

      –“Replacement drugs” such as methadone have been used for decades. Does that approach not work? Why in the world would anyone think to provide dangerous narcotics to “patients” if less dangerous substitutes worked? There must be at least a theory to explain why only heroin will satisfy the needs of this program.

      Not only will this help curb the drug-related crimes in the area, but it will allow addicts to focus on leading a more productive life while not worrying about how they’ll get their next fix.

      –So, addicts on “replacement drugs” were not able to lead more productive lives? Or is it possible there weren’t enough “takers” for a methadone program? If so, something about the replacement drugs had to have been unsatisfactory to the addicts.

      Vancouver, along with a slew of European nations before them, have begun to treat drugs with drugs.

      –Understandably you’ll need to provide all the data you can find about the success or failure of these programs, but not just “success” or “failure.” You’ll need to define your terms carefully. 1) Does success mean that the patient shows up for regular appointments, remains faithful to the program, develops a sense of well-being and enhanced productivity and eventually kicks the drug habit for good? 2) Or does it mean the patient gets along better with the administered drugs and manages to maintain a fairly stable and healthy life but remains hooked? 3) Or does it ignore the patient outcomes as irrelevant to the real goals of the program and measure its success in the reduced number of robberies, prostitution arrests, incarcerations, AIDS cases, and overdose deaths in the town?

      And no over the counter medicine is involved here; they’re giving heroin addicts heroin in an effort to combat some of the adverse effects of having addicts in their area, such as drug crime rates being higher than they’d like.

      –I anticipated your next claim. Still, you need to rank the goals of the program by examining several sources. As you suggested, the Four Pillars’ “mission statement” might be quite different from the addict’s goals, the medical community’s goals, the police department’s goals, the mayor’s goals . . . .

      They have adopted this in favor of traditional rehabilitation, which does not have a one hundred percent success rate like this claims to have, albeit with radically different results.

      –Even I can have a one hundred percent success rate if I choose only the cases most likely to succeed and over-resource them. I’ll bet even this program, if it were honest, would have to consider as “failures” whatever percentage of patients come regularly to receive their doses but nonetheless commit muggings to meet their other daily needs. After all, they’re not being housed and fed, only drugged.

      In seeking to be different, cities like these have also opted to reap the rewards and consequences of this new approach.

      –Well, I doubt their motivation is to be different. Reaping is always positive; consequences aren’t. When you combine rewards and consequences, you need two verbs, (suffer is usually the second one).

      Helpful, MM? Does it begin to explain what I meant by “digging deeper”? Reply, please.

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      • themildewmuncher7 says:

        Yes this definitely helps, especially with the idea of expanding my ideas to different topics of discussion. Thank you.

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