At the Northern Kentucky High School Psychology Institute (waaay back in the 90s - any alums out there? Holler!) Perilou Goddard, the director of the institute and an addiction specialist, taught us about the "Harm Reduction" perspective toward addiction treatment. Briefly, this perspective (common in Europe and Canada) tries to get policy makers to set laws that reduce the harm posed by drug addicts to the rest of society. This perspective can result in some policies that seem counter-intuitive to many of us Americans.
Mind Hacks describes one of these practices "that provides injecting drug users with a place to safely inject drugs with clean equipment and medical staff on hand." The article is a good summary of how Harm Minimization is being implemented, and could be the start of a GREAT classroom discussion.