There are many people who may not approve even of this article, let alone the website we are discussing. Let me assure you that the intent is to have an unbiased open-minded “review” of what the site is about. The choice as to whether it’s right or wrong is yours to make, now and in the future. We’re just here to get the facts.
What is Tripsit.me? It is a website dedicated to “working to promote the safer practice of drug consumption of any sort through free, straight-forward, honest information and support in the context of harm-reduction techniques. With a wide variety of services ranging from adulterant-test-kits to ensure safety of consumption to free counseling and important safety supplies and information, we are committed to providing the means for safer and healthier practice of drug consumption and recreational party activity.”
So there are many questions in front of us. We will focus on this one: Is this a proper form of disseminating information that, at best, doesn’t discourage drug abuse, but might encourage it; or is it a change in the paradigm, as claimed by the site itself, that we need to embrace?
The difficulty is precisely what they say—a change in paradigm. Drug use, despite our best efforts, has not decreased. Our “war on drugs” has cost this country hundreds of millions of dollars, tens of thousands of hours of law enforcement time, uncountable courtroom “meetings” with “criminals” who were not violent, with the possible exception of themselves; all this has not appreciably reduced any level of drug use. So does staying silent on the ways to minimize harm do greater damage to the public than showing them ways to do what they are doing, but in a safer manner? Does the silence define our disapproval of the abuse? Does offering this type of information condone the abuse? What is our goal? Hopefully, we have goals that are either preventative, or pointing toward professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
The dissemination of information which will reduce harm from drug abuse cannot be summarily dismissed as a form of drug education. It is only a question of whether this information will encourage people to try or abuse drugs where they might otherwise not have taken the risk.
An example of the success of the strategy of the website is demonstrated on the website itself. They reference a program that was instituted in 1972, following the death of two young males who had died as a result of huffing, which is the emptying of spray paint cans into plastic bags and inhaling the fumes. One died because the paint literally coated his lungs; the other passed out from the action, and the bag caught fire due to its proximity to a space heater, which fatally burned him. The purpose of the program was to reduce damage from huffing and to stop others from dying. The presentation defined the risks of huffing, and concluded with descriptive means of reducing some of the dangers, including using paper instead of plastic bags, and using filters constructed of toilet paper tubes, filled with tissue, to filter the paint out. As a result of this, they claim no further deaths resulted from huffing, and crisis-calls related to huffing declined significantly. They also acknowledge that there is no tangible evidence linking the subsequent decline in deaths to the program.
The site further defends harm reduction by linking the actions society has taken regarding drunk driving. They specifically show that programs in place today advocate for harm reduction rather than abstinence, using Designated Drivers, free rides if you’re drunk, and free coffee on freeways. Clearly, they make their point.
But there is another side to the website, which is the point of this article. Without moderation, the opportunity to be become a clearinghouse for drug dealers is clear. Even though there is moderation, it is voluntary, and the volunteers aren’t screened as best as I can determine.
I wish there was a simple and right answer. There are merits to arguments from both sides. I am sure everyone has a personal perspective. It’s up to you to decide what you think is right. I’d love to hear from you.
You do not have to deal with the addict’s problem alone. Recovery is possible. Others have done it. You or your loved one can do it too. Family and Friends of Addicts—please remember—you can’t force an individual deal with an addiction problem. But you can offer support and arrange an intervention for addiction treatment. Reach out to us. Recovery from addiction is just a click or a phone call away. For more information on how to arrange an intervention for your loved one, contact us at:
Florida Center for Recovery – Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-960-5041 MyFloridaCenterforRecovery.com ©
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