“The research on what people with addictions want is international and clear: they want help getting off of drugs, they want help reducing the harms of their addictions,” said Dr. Julian Somers, a clinical psychologist specializing in addiction.
The director of the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health & Addiction at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Somers added, “People overwhelmingly are looking to increase the overall wellness in their lives. They know that being poly-substance addicted is not only life threatening, but sucks.”
Somers said that giving a supply of a drug to a person addicted to that drug goes against what addiction clinicians have learned actually works to address addiction. “Drug policy should always aspire, through the social means that are available, to reduce or to keep at a minimum, the total volume of drugs made available in society,” Somers said.
“If you’re a doctor, you’d definitely get drug treatment. If you’re an airline pilot, a lawyer, a nurse, a B.C. public servant, a wealthy person, you get treatment. And that treatment is all of the psychosocial stuff that used to be provided to poor people,” Somers said. “And in most treatments, you’re not allowed to take any drugs, including methadone,” he added.
The Northern Beat, Navigating The Brave New World of “Safer” Supply