It’s a simple approach, with lots a complications addressing a complex set of problems all of which must satisfy a contentious crowd of interests and stakeholders. Still, if harm is the concern, then reduce it.
Perhaps harm prevention or punishment is preferable. But what is the endgame? To teach people a moral lesson? Or to reduce harm and save lives? Why not do both? Schooling the recently deceased produces the sound of one hand clapping.
Here’s a smattering of randomly collected pieces that explore harm reduction as way of addressing drug use:
Jennifer L. Doleac, Anita Mukherjee, and Molly Schnell, “Research roundup: What does the evidence say about how to fight the opioid epidemic?” (2018)
Maia Szalavitz , “The Wrong Way to Treat Opioid Addiction” (2018)
Betsy Pearl and Maritza Perez , “Ending the War on Drugs” (2018)
Don C. Des Jarlais, “Harm reduction in the USA: the research perspective and an archive to David Purchase” (2017)