Methadone Centers, Harm Reduction, and Community Involvement
Many people are under the mistaken belief that methadone centers bring crime and other bad elements to their community. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s study conducted by the Baltimore City Police and the FBI, the crime rate does not change when a methadone treatment center is opened. Methadone centers are usually part of a harm reduction and community involvement. These three aspects work together in order to build a better overall community for everyone.
What is the Concept of Harm Reduction?
The concept of harm reduction is not a new one. It is a belief that drug addiction is here to stay because it is an illness not a crime. The point is to minimize the harmful effects instead of simply treating it as a crime or ignoring the problem.
It strives to improve the quality of life for all individuals in the community and in doing that stop the need to use, sell, or manufacture illegal drugs. It strives to do this through the non-judgmental offering of services to all who need them. Rather than condemning those that use drugs, it seeks to help them to stop or use them safely.
The point of harm reduction is to do what its name implies, to reduce the harm that drugs do. It does not deny that drugs are dangerous, just that drug users need help rather than punishment.
Why do Methadone Centers Help the Community?
Methadone centers as a part of a harm reduction strategy help the community by giving heroin and other opiate addicts an alternative solution for their addiction. They provide addiction services rather than punishment. Most methadone treatment centers offer chronic pain patients a solution to using illegal opiates as well. The services they offer are:
- Treatment for addiction
- Treatment for chronic pain
- Community involved therapy
These treatment centers help the community by keeping the heroin off the streets by offering an alternative to the addiction. When addicts have an alternative to heroin, the dealers, and the crime go down. Without the business, those that seek to gain from addiction move on.
How can the Community become Involved?
The community can become involved by volunteering and offering community based counseling programs. Many churches and other groups already have these programs in place but by working with the methadone centers. They can offer counseling, support programs and other services for those who have fallen to addiction.
The can help by banding together and supporting the methadone clinic’s services with donations and fundraising. This allows the methadone center to serve even the poorest of the population in need of treatment. Only an effort between the community and the methadone center can do this.
How to Find a Community Based Methadone Treatment Center
There are community based methadone treatment centers in almost every community in the United States. To easily find one in your area, call us at 800-530-0431Who Answers?. We can help you find the treatment center in your community.