COVID-19 and people who use drugs, homeless people, sex workers and migrants

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Written by:
Sérgio Rodrigues, Peer at GIRUGaia– APDES

I have seen and read a lot of concern with this population, because they do not accept to go to a shelter center, because they would have to stay there “closed”.

People who use psychoactive substances, people who use alcohol and other vulnerable population, will not accept this solution, because we are not giving them the best solution.

First of all, we would have to put all our prejudice, morals and ideals of a drug-free world behind us. Right now, the correct message is: to save! Save human lives, not only theirs, but all of our lives and our health.
We must open a space where people could continue to have their consumption in a safer way. The technicians and peers could be responsible for managing the space, and could also manage each person’s alcohol consumption.

Right now I don’t see a better solution, People who use drugs, Sex Workers, Homeless people and Migrants, are also people who should be respected and treated like every human being, At this difficult time, it is time to say that there is a solution .
If we create a safer space for people we can support them in many ways. We can address specific health and social needs. We can even provide drug detoxification for anyone who is in need. We can educate them on the best way to protect themselves from COVID-19 and at the same time promote harm reduction and prevent overdoses.

There are solutions. The ones who make decisions may not know them, or may not want to accept them, but here are some. If they are really concerned about these human beings just stop being moralist at this difficult moment.

In an unequal war everyone should count…