TThe “Wet House”: Reducing Harm or Abandoning Hope? Contains unread posts

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After reviewing all of the resources that were provided in regard to harm reduction and “wet houses”, I would have to disagree with this approach solely from the fact that these institutions do not provide any resources to try and help the victims of alcohol abuse. Harm reduction is described as, ” a pragmatic approach to reduce the harmful consequences of drug use and other high-risk activities by incorporating several strategies that cut across the spectrum from safer use to managed use to abstinence. The primary goal of most harm-reduction approaches is to meet individuals where they are at and not to ignore or condemn the harmful behaviors, but rather to work with the individual or community to minimize the harmful effects of a given behavior.” I understand where this approach is coming from but I also believe that this type of approach is just a cycle that repeats itself over and over again and never goes anywhere that would lead to a positive outcome. Substance abusers have no qualms to get better, they know this and that is why they accept the invitations of the States that run these programs because in the government eyes if they have people using these wet houses they try to revert from violence so they do not hurt or harm anyone else. In my opinion this type of reconciliation has no impact to reduce the effects of harm reduction, people are still hurting themselves from drinking alcohol and they are also still killing themselves from drinking their body to the point of death. The States that run these programs should look at different options to move towards to in order to effectively stop the effects of harm reduction. Especially when the States are using public funds to fund these institutions I believe is just a waste of money that is going nowhere except to the death of these alcohol abusers. There are many factors that you can take into consideration when one wants to argue the effectiveness of wet houses and the pro’s and con’s that deal with this issue, but I think we can all agree that these wet houses have no significant future but to help these alcoholics to keep drinking and never receive the type of help that they actually need. With that being said I think the public should end the program of wet houses even if it provides a safe haven to alcoholics and others.

Harm reduction appears to be a form of using public funds in reducing usage among addicts. The “wet house” approach consisting of a living arrangement that does not prohibit alcohol usage but instead allows it. The individuals whom seek refuge here are granted, shelter and food, on the premise that are inebriated behaviors do not cause harm to others. Harm reduction and wet houses are viewed morality as a negative action that just grants users to continue using with little to no hope of ever recovering or obtaining/maintaining sobriety “harm reduction is unacceptable because it ‘gives permission’ for addicts to keep using” as stated in Update on Harm-Reduction Policy and Intervention Research by Marlatt, G. Alan, and Katie Witkiewitz. However, on a financial perspective the benefits are directly related to cost reduction on say: rehabilitation, medical costs, jail, therapy, legal actions, and so on. Bob Shaw’s article “At St. Paul ‘wet House,’ Liquor Can Be Their Life — and Death.” states the cost of maintaining a wet house such as St. Anthony cost the public approximately $18,000 annually. This is a significant reduction to the near hundreds of thousands; alcoholics and homeless alcoholics can accumulate in their decades of drinking and treatment.

I do not approve of just giving individuals permission to drink but these individuals in the article by Bob Shaw have hit rock bottom and all they have is drinking. They have lost family, friends, jobs, homes, cars, all of it, they have gone to jail, rehab, therapy, and detox facilities to no avail yet costing the public increasingly. I approve of the wet house in this case and these individuals as I do hospices. These are terminal alcoholics that will eventually drink themselves to their graves, they have given up and much of society has given up on them. So, while I disapprove of public funds being allocated to allowing addicts to continue to use, in the case of the financial aspect for the public and the terminal actions of these addicts (mentioned previously) why not allow them to spend their final days in their own way?

References:

Marlatt, A. G., & Wilkiewitz, K. (2010, January 4). Update on Harm-Reduction Policy and Intervention Research. Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol. 2010. 6:591–606. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.121208.131438, Retrieved July 8 , 2017, from https://learn.umuc.edu/content/enforced/282356-000834-01-2175-OL1-6382/BEHS364_Sp15/Marlatt_Witkiewitz_2010.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=nQGn6P75RkMOy9emEYaVyXhH5&ou=282356

Shaw, Bob. “At St. Paul ‘wet House,’ Liquor Can Be Their Life — and Death.” Twin Cities. Twin Cities, 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 07 July 2017.’

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