Should the government provide people who are drug dependent legal access to paraphernalia, including clean needles and medically supervised safe injection sites in which to use? Advocates of the harm reduction method say it is a humane way to allow individuals to manage their addictions while offering support, reducing the number of drug-related deaths, and connecting people to treatment.

“It helps people want to live, and it helps people move toward recovery,” says Maia Szalavitz, a former drug user and author of “Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction.” She says harm reduction helped save her life.

Michael Shellenberger, author of the book “San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities,” disagrees. He says he advocated for needle exchange programs in the 1990s but has since decided, “It’s just gone too far.” Shellenberger says harm reduction programs in the United States enable people to keep using illicit drugs while offering no meaningful consequences for the negative behaviors associated with addiction.

This episode of Dr. Phil, “Harm Reduction: Safe Space for Addicts to Use,” airs Wednesday.

And later, Dr. Phil talks to California State Senator Scott Wiener (D), who says he has been working for several years to pass a bill to make harm reduction programs legal in the state.

Check your local listing for airtimes.

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