Assessment for professional sex workers

A needs assessment for professional sex workers has found that many of them are survivors of childhood sexual abuse and have learned to cope by drinking or using painkillers. Government officials are trying to decide what type of program to fund that will help deal with this problem:

  1. Treatment based on abstinence from all alcohol and drugs;
  2. Harm reduction (focusing on how to use drugs in a safe manner); or
  3. Criminal law enforcement (targeting people who are involved in prostitution and drug use).

Analyze the ethical issues related to these alternatives, taking into account values such as client self-determination, respect for all people, access to resources, public safety, individual safety, and promotion of public health. Which of these three proposals do you believe would be the most effective in addressing this issue and why?

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