By Olivia Shalaby
A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a video about clinics in Denmark called "Fix Rooms." Addicts there can take class A drugs legally.
It made me wonder how much money the drug industry makes, and how drug abuse could be stopped.
On Feb. 2 in Duluth, five people were arrested for sales of controlled substances. According to Duluth police, during the search, the investigators recovered approximately 51 grams of heroin and fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, digital scales, drug packaging and $5,554.
That’s a lot of drugs for a small town like Duluth. According to the Duluth News Tribune, on Thanksgiving weekend alone, six calls were made to the fire department for overdose cases, and 29 people were arrested on heroin charges in the first three months of 2016.
According to the Huffington Post, about $100 billion is spent on drugs every year in the U.S., and about $50 billion is spent on fighting drug abuse.
So how can we stop or reduce drug abuse? Well, one might say, just allow people to take drugs legally, since they will do it anyway.
In Denmark, about 500 people visit the Fix Rooms clinics every day, according to a Jan. 9 report ofthe BBC.
Ida Bro, a nurse at one of the Fix Rooms, told the BBC that they provide the addict with everything they need to consume their drugs. She said the main purpose of this is to prevent diseases. Elliot, an addict, told the BBC he always tells the nurses what kind of drugs he will be taking, “so they know what to expect if anything goes south.” So in this case, people can be helped instead of over- dosing and dying.
Of course, the more logical option would be simply to get treated. But treatment isn’t that available in the Twin Ports area. There is a facility in Duluth, but that admits mostly Minnesota residents. The closet treatment facility in Wisconsin is located in Eau Claire. That is two and a half hours away and is not practical for Superior addict who wants to get treatment.
Opening up more drug treatment facilities is very important - especially if they are for free, because most addicts really don’t have any money to spend, or they just spent all the money they had on drugs.
Another solution is opening up a Fix Room-style clinic where people can to take their drugs under supervision. This would simply reduce the number of overdoses in the Twin Ports area, since the addicts will be supervised.
So let's start sharing and making people aware of drug abuse in our community. Let’s motivate addicts who became clean to share their stories with others. Let’s start collecting money to help people become clean and start a new life, because a better community means a better us.