Understandably, substance abuse may be a challenging topic to fund due to stigmas attached to this population. However, with evolving times creative means of treatment approaches should be explored.
Decreasing substance abuse is the goal, where treatment facilities may not be accessible to everyone and proven less effective on their own. Drug use should definitely be addressed as a public health issue. The rigid zero tolerance policies of the past have only seemed to contribute to the drug abuse problem.
Assembly Bill 186 offers an opportunity to a more progressive, harm reduction approach. We should explore this alternative to help reduce the harms and health consequences associated with drug abuse.
Joseph Marin, Karina Lares, Estefania Hermosilla, Cassandra Cruz, Aaron Kosterlytzky
(The authors of this letter are Master of Social Work candidates at Cal State Long Beach.)