Jun 18, 2015
It's my opinion (strongly backed up by facts) that the only way to actually prevent deaths via heroin OD instead of just doing a lot of useless hand-wringing is to push for full legalization as well as for complete de-stigmatizaion. Because frankly, criminalization simply isn't working.
You find out your kid is a heroin addict, what's the first thing you do? Well, in an ideal world, you make sure they have a source for clean drugs of a predictable strength, clean needles, and you make that access contingent upon them becoming experts in the safe administration of those drugs. Make sure they have Narcan in their kit and if they feel the need to take a big dose they do it with a buddy. That would knock out a huge majority of the ODs. Provide them with a path out of addiction, if they wish to take it. But if not, make their lives as an addict as comfortable and safe as possible.
Our current approach is roughly analogous to abstinence sex ed training for high school students. It is of use only to those kids who were probably going to remain celibate anyway. For everyone else, all it does is increase risky behavior.
Do a web search on legal heroin in Switzerland. Look at the numbers. If you think criminalization is a better way, I'd love to hear your views on this topic.