harm reduction

There is no safe way to inject heroin. Narcan (naloxone) may not save your life. Your friends may not be able to, either.
Like ACSH itself, ACSH advisor Dr. Jeffrey Singer is a proponent of harm reduction. Here's his take on a report, issued by the health and medicine panel of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), titled "Opportunities to Improve Opioid Use Disorder and Infectious Disease Services." Not surprisingly, Dr. Singer calls for needle exchange, methadone use, and the use of prescribing pre‐​exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP) and post‐​exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
One of the core principles of ACSH is harm reduction – an essential component of any sane public health policy. Dr. Jeffrey Singer (pictured) writing for the Cato Institute, calls for harm reduction, both from opioid prescribers and policymakers. Dr. Singer graciously allowed us to reprint his latest essay, which is a must-read.
The CDC says "tobacco use by youth is rising." If that were to be true, it'd be horrible -- but it's not. Cigarette use is down. The only reason the CDC can make this claim is because the agency considers e-cigarettes and vaping devices -- which only contain nicotine -- to be tobacco products. This is misleading and undermines public health.
Cigarette smoking is at an all-time low, and secondhand smoke exposure is also collapsing. So some public health officials have manufactured a new threat: Thirdhand smoke.
Not all vices are equally bad. In a perfect world, our kids never do anything stupid or rebellious. But we don't live in that kind of world, do we? The principle of harm reduction acknowledges that reality, which means that teen vapers are preferable to teen smokers.
First fallacy: the mere existence of an opioid pill is why there is a crisis. Finding solutions requires proper identification of a problem. The time is now for the public narrative to follow suit.
The tale of an eggplant's exit from the body. Always a fun experience! 
Partisanship is a terrible development for our culture. But it's even worse for areas such as public health, because people die when we implement bad, partisan ideas.
In service of their ideological agenda, the "abstinence-only" nicotine religion is perfectly happy to withhold potentially life-saving e-cigarettes from smokers. If a few million smokers have to die along the way, those are casualties they're willing to accept in pursuit of their nicotine-free utopia.
Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes that his FDA should be in the business of getting smokers to transition away from cigarettes, to something less harmful like e-cigarettes or other products. That's similar to the policy taken by the UK's National Health Service, and it's precisely in line with ACSH's policy stance of harm reduction.
Philadelphia has a program to provide drug users with clean needles, a safe site to inject and referrals for treatment and social services – a first in the United States. But before we accept or reject the mainstream narratives, let's consider some of the evidence municipal lawmakers studied before taking this action.