Dr. Phil discusses harm reduction, the concept of treating drug abuse like a medical issue and providing addicts with paraphernalia, such as clean needles in a safe space, and free housing regardless of whether or not they test positive for drugs. Michael Shellenberger, author of San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities, says he believes that America’s approach to drug abuse, crime, and homelessness has gotten too soft. Los Angeles resident Marcy Jo agrees with Shellenberger, saying that in L.A., open drug use and homelessness have gotten out of control. On the other side of the debate is California State Senator Scott Wiener, who wrote Senate Bill 57. The bill would have legalized safe consumption sites in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, but was vetoed by Governor Newsom in August 2022. Weiner says he was extremely disappointed that the veto blocked life-saving legislation. Maia Szalavitz, author of Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction in the Future of Addiction, is a recovering heroin and cocaine user who says harm reduction saved her life. Szalavitz says although harm reduction is not a cure for addiction, it can keep people alive until they can recover.

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