Needle Exchange Program

Needle Exchange Program

  • Submitted By: killak
  • Date Submitted: 10/13/2008 12:24 PM
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Words: 601
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 1275

“Needle exchange program.”

The first question that comes to mind when I hear this term is “why?” Why should the government spend money on supporting illegal behavior? The term itself sounds illogical. It’s as if you’re talking about a lighter exchange program, where smokers can come in and get new lighters to continue their dirty habit. Lets begin by discussing what needle exchange programs do. They provide IV drug users clean hypodermic needles in exchange for used ones. Take a few seconds to think about it. Would you approve of your tax dollars being spent on such a program? I’m guessing not. Thankfully, federal funding for needle exchange programs has been banned since 1998 and hasn’t changed since then. Former U.S Attorney General John Ashcroft commented on the subject by saying they

“…Send an intolerable message that it's time to accept drug use as a way of life.”

Senator Chuck Grassley, a republican from Iowa has also stated:

“Such a program would in reality use tax dollars and the authority of the federal government to push drug paraphernalia into already drug-ravaged inner cities. This is reckless and irresponsible.”

It is safe to assume that the federal government wants nothing to do with such programs, as drug users might see it as a sign of the government approving of their ill habits.

Needle exchange programs also provide a false sense of security, leading users to believe that they are doing drugs in a safe way. I believe the word safe should never be used when describing what these people do to themselves. They might think, “As long as I’m not getting HIV, ill be fine,” but this is the worst possible thought to have, as it leads users to increase their drug use.

Another problem facing needle exchange programs is the effect it has on the community where it’s established. Lets say there’s an exchange program right next to a park. Its pretty obvious that there will be a constant stream of users in and about the...

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