By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the Globe and Mail, there is a problem with the public debate around harm reduction. In particular, the fact of the matter is the peer-reviewed literature in support of harm reduction philosophy and methodology and not in support of the current punitive-retributive philosophy and methodology.

The Ontario Health Minister, Christine Elliott, spoke on the evidence for the decision made by the Progressive Conservative government decision to move forward with even further research on the opioid epidemic or crisis, where there was the suspension of the opening of sites based on harm reduction to help substance users within communities in the province.

The basic assertion was that some in the population disagree on the efficacy of the harm reduction implementations. No evidence was given except some minority opinion of the public rather than reference to the general public of Ontario and the wider world of academic research already present indicating the efficacy of harm reduction methodologies over and above the punitive measures,where, in fact, the punishment oriented methodologies do more harm than good to the substance users.

As reported, “Ms. Elliott’s struggle to rationalize her government’s skepticism was reflective of the reality that, 15 years after Canada first began to experiment with providing addicts safe, medically supervised sites where they can inject drugs, there is no good evidence against doing so. Instead, there is voluminous evidence that such places keep people alive, with staff reversing multiple overdoses daily – along with other benefits that include reducing the spread of disease through needle-sharing and, yes, directing some addicts toward rehab.”

Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen


(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail:

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

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