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Needle Exchanges and Safe Injection Sites. Options · View
DamonX
Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:40:38 PM

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What do you think about needle exchanges and safe injection sites for heroin addicts?

Is it contributing to the problem, or is it a pragmatic way of dealing with a public health issue?
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:22:29 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Provide needle exchanges and safe houses. Be reasonable about the fact that drug use will occur. Making it illegal, sending people to prison, and scolding people for using won't make it go away. Never has, and never will.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:38:40 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
for it. Prohibition in the US didn't work, the war on drugs since Nixon has apparently not worked, so I don't see how this would make things worse than making things illegal already has.
inepa
Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:45:59 PM

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Location: Alotau
Do not know what you guys are talking about....Is drug abuse that bad that you want to resort to those
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:50:41 PM

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Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
inepa wrote:
Do not know what you guys are talking about....Is drug abuse that bad that you want to resort to those


The idea is that the government would provide places where heroin addicts (or any injectable drug) could go, and they would be guaranteed clean needles and a safe place to shoot up. It beats the hell out of doing it on the street, or anywhere you'd have to hide, and dealing with dirty needles, the threat of violent crime, etc.

Heroin addiction is not going away, so this is one idea of how to manage the problem rather than make unrealistic goals of eliminating drug use.
rxtales
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:37:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 11/28/2008
Posts: 2,589
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom
LadyX wrote:
Provide needle exchanges and safe houses. Be reasonable about the fact that drug use will occur. Making it illegal, sending people to prison, and scolding people for using won't make it go away. Never has, and never will.


I agree with this. At least make it safe as possible, try to prevent the spread of diseases.
Jacknife
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:13:15 AM

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Location: United Kingdom
I've always thought these were good ideas. its the notion that because drugs are illegal that is in someway a deterent to people.

If you want to pump yourself full of drugs, who is the government to say that you cannot. Personally I'm more concerned with these people endangering others by doing it at home, or stealling to get the money to buy the drugs,
MrNudiePants
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 6:21:56 AM

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My main question would be, "Who's paying for it?" I work damn hard for my pay, and I'd really rather not subsidize somebody's next fix. Find a way to pay for it where it doesn't come out of the taxpayer's pocket, and I'm all for it.

sprite
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 9:45:23 AM

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MrNudiePants wrote:
My main question would be, "Who's paying for it?" I work damn hard for my pay, and I'd really rather not subsidize somebody's next fix. Find a way to pay for it where it doesn't come out of the taxpayer's pocket, and I'm all for it.


Here's the thing. Sharing needles is a good way to share other things. HIV comes to mind, as well as Hepatitis. Most addicts in this position don't have health care, so when they become Ill, guess who foots the bill then? would you rather pay for some needles or pay for hospital care?

http://www.lushstories.com/stories/hardcore/west-coast-games-part-one-the-beach.aspx
Jillicious
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 9:57:56 AM

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Posts: 1,293
sprite wrote:
Sharing needles is a good way to share other things. HIV comes to mind, as well as Hepatitis.



Why remove consequences of bad behavior? Wouldn't it only re-enforce heroin usage?
The same thing applies to parenting, employment, students, ect... There are consequences for actions and removing those consequences only makes the bad behavior worse.

If you are going to play with fire you will get burned.

Thousands of user submitted stories removed from the site. You are nothing without your users or their freely submitted stories.
Rembacher
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:43:27 AM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
Jillicious wrote:
sprite wrote:
Sharing needles is a good way to share other things. HIV comes to mind, as well as Hepatitis.



Why remove consequences of bad behavior? Wouldn't it only re-enforce heroin usage?
The same thing applies to parenting, employment, students, ect... There are consequences for actions and removing those consequences only makes the bad behavior worse.

If you are going to play with fire you will get burned.


Yes, they will get burned. There are many consequences to heroin addiction, generally your use leads to you being unable to function in regular society, so you will lose your job, which eventually leads to losing your home, and ending up on the street. As mentioned above, someone on the street will not have medical coverage. If they share needles they are at risk to contract serious diseases such as aids. It is much less costly to society to prevent the spread of diseases than to try and treat the sick after they are infected with an incurable disease. I didn't make the choice to do heroin, so why should I pay for 10 people to get treated for HIV, when it could have just been one?

I'm all for anything that can prevent the spread of infectious diseases in society.
mercianknight
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:44:15 AM

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Hmmmm. So, if the hard working, non-drug addicted members of society were willing to provide safe clean environments for weak-willed abusers of illegal narcotics to shoot up then the presumption is that they will come? Do we get to vet the attendees to assess their situation? Compiling data on the attendees would also be informative.

Wow, what a cool way to identify all the leeches on society. Tell me, do we also get to decide 'what' we put in those clean needles? You know, in case we wanted to, I don't know, maybe put them out of their misery? If so, then sign me up for those extra taxes!! hello1

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
Guest
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:23:54 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
mercianknight wrote:
Hmmmm. So, if the hard working, non-drug addicted members of society were willing to provide safe clean environments for weak-willed abusers of illegal narcotics to shoot up then the presumption is that they will come? Do we get to vet the attendees to assess their situation? Compiling data on the attendees would also be informative.

Wow, what a cool way to identify all the leeches on society. Tell me, do we also get to decide 'what' we put in those clean needles? You know, in case we wanted to, I don't know, maybe put them out of their misery? If so, then sign me up for those extra taxes!! hello1



ohhhh, i like this answer best!
DirtyMartini
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:37:12 AM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,790
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It's a good idea...the idea is that it will reduce health hazards such as HIV...
If drugs were actually legal, there would be a reduced cost to taxpayers as far as a reduction in street crime among other things...
If you want to learn more about it, join LEAP...Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group formed by five ex-cops including two New Jersey state troopers...
Here is the site:
http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php
They send you some interesting reports as well...world cocaine production, explanations why meth labs are so prevalent in the mid-west (higher prices for other street drugs), etc.
Have fun...


You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

Guest
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:45:22 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
sprite wrote:
would you rather pay for some needles or pay for hospital care?


and maybe we could control over doses too if we had safe sites so that we dont have to foot those med expenses as well.




sprite
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:14:50 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness

Joined: 6/18/2010
Posts: 14,538
Location: My Tower, United States
mercianknight wrote:
Hmmmm. So, if the hard working, non-drug addicted members of society were willing to provide safe clean environments for weak-willed abusers of illegal narcotics to shoot up then the presumption is that they will come? Do we get to vet the attendees to assess their situation? Compiling data on the attendees would also be informative.

Wow, what a cool way to identify all the leeches on society. Tell me, do we also get to decide 'what' we put in those clean needles? You know, in case we wanted to, I don't know, maybe put them out of their misery? If so, then sign me up for those extra taxes!! hello1


wow... nice blanket statement. everyone with a drug addiction is a weak willed leech who sould be euthanized so the rest of us don't have to deal with their issues. hey, i bet that's what goes thru their minds when shooting up - Hey! i don't have to work! all i have to do is sit around this squat without any money for food, trying to feel good for about an hour, and hopefully not die while the tax payers foot the bill!

guess what - NO one wants to be and addict. yes, many addicts make bad choices, even stupid ones, but then, can we apply the same logic to ALL addicts here? ciggerette addicts, food addicts, booze addicts, shopping addicts... at some point they all have the ability to strain tax payers pocket books. what the hell ever happened to compasion? seriously, some of thes people have serious problems and if all it takes is a few dollars to help try to keep them healthy, then i am all for it.

a little bit of personal experience, btw - used to do meals on wheel in SF and some of the recipients were addicts. once you get talking you find about more about how they became addicts and your POV changes drastically. who are we to judge anyone who is NOT hurting anyone but themselves? yes, it can be a drain on society, but then so many things are, the invasion of Iraq comes to mind.. think of all the money spent that could have gone to social programs? could have rehabilitated drug addicts, instead of living them on the street to lead a lonely, painful life and, ulitmatly, most likely die?



http://www.lushstories.com/stories/hardcore/west-coast-games-part-one-the-beach.aspx
mercianknight
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 1:29:01 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Sprite gives me hope for the whole human race. Her ability to see the good where none may exist makes her a beacon of hope for those of us that had to clean up the mess of drug addiction. Sprite is absolutey right to note a difference in perspective...she worked with MoW, I was a Narco Detective. Guess who saw more....way more.

The dregs that need needle exchange locations are at the bottom of the pile. They can get no lower. They made their choices. Are needle exchange points a good idea? Yes, for all the reasons I stated earlier.

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 2:16:22 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
sprite wrote:


wow... nice blanket statement. everyone with a drug addiction is a weak willed leech who sould be euthanized so the rest of us don't have to deal with their issues. hey, i bet that's what goes thru their minds when shooting up - Hey! i don't have to work! all i have to do is sit around this squat without any money for food, trying to feel good for about an hour, and hopefully not die while the tax payers foot the bill!

guess what - NO one wants to be and addict. yes, many addicts make bad choices, even stupid ones, but then, can we apply the same logic to ALL addicts here? ciggerette addicts, food addicts, booze addicts, shopping addicts... at some point they all have the ability to strain tax payers pocket books. what the hell ever happened to compasion? seriously, some of thes people have serious problems and if all it takes is a few dollars to help try to keep them healthy, then i am all for it.

a little bit of personal experience, btw - used to do meals on wheel in SF and some of the recipients were addicts. once you get talking you find about more about how they became addicts and your POV changes drastically. who are we to judge anyone who is NOT hurting anyone but themselves? yes, it can be a drain on society, but then so many things are, the invasion of Iraq comes to mind.. think of all the money spent that could have gone to social programs? could have rehabilitated drug addicts, instead of living them on the street to lead a lonely, painful life and, ulitmatly, most likely die?


Applause


But, it's easier to just judge them. They're not people, after all- they're addicts. All ____ are _______.
DamonX
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 6:05:43 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Good comments so far.

I would like to make a brief comment on the idea of "cost." Needle exchanges and allocated safe injection sites are very much more inexpensive than the health costs caused by the spread of HIV and hepatitis, or other health afflictions that will land addicts in the ICU. That's a pretty damn expensive hotel room. I'd rather foot the bill for a 25 cent syringe instead.

The money it costs to police and incarcerate addicts far outweighs the costs of a few needle exchange stations. I think the whole "war on drugs" thing was long ago proven to be a dead loss.

Not that we should just sit back and accept it. But we she address the social issues involved in creating such situations. Allowing the spread of infectious disease doesn't really seem to serve any purpose, other than to contibute to the degredation of already poverty stricken neighborhoods.


sprite
Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:09:07 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness

Joined: 6/18/2010
Posts: 14,538
Location: My Tower, United States
mercianknight wrote:
Sprite gives me hope for the whole human race. Her ability to see the good where none may exist makes her a beacon of hope for those of us that had to clean up the mess of drug addiction. Sprite is absolutey right to note a difference in perspective...she worked with MoW, I was a Narco Detective. Guess who saw more....way more.

The dregs that need needle exchange locations are at the bottom of the pile. They can get no lower. They made their choices. Are needle exchange points a good idea? Yes, for all the reasons I stated earlier.


*hugs* sorry. i think you might have touched a nerve and i sort of got a little emotional, something i usually manage not to do here. thing is, knowing some of these people, knowing that the reason they put a needle into their veins is because they found a time in their life when they were so low that the promise of a small burst of Nirvana in the form of a heroin high was the only thing getting them through their lives. and now, many of them are trapped, unable to escape their addiction or unwilling...

and yes, you're probably right that you have seen much more as a detetive, but then, you've seen it from a different angle. i would have to admit that their addiction has turned some of these people ugly and mean (there were certainly times when i was glad i wasn't out there by myself!), but then i have to wonder how much of that is because we look at them like rabid dogs who should be put down?

ok, sort of got off the subject there. needle exhange... as has been stated, the cost of clean needles far outweighs the cost of medical expenses. on a cost basis, it just makes sense. Not having clean needles is not a deterent, and having them is certainly not going to cause people who might not try heroin to suddenly decide it's a good idea.

http://www.lushstories.com/stories/hardcore/west-coast-games-part-one-the-beach.aspx
rxtales
Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 12:10:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 11/28/2008
Posts: 2,589
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom
sprite wrote:
mercianknight wrote:
Hmmmm. So, if the hard working, non-drug addicted members of society were willing to provide safe clean environments for weak-willed abusers of illegal narcotics to shoot up then the presumption is that they will come? Do we get to vet the attendees to assess their situation? Compiling data on the attendees would also be informative.

Wow, what a cool way to identify all the leeches on society. Tell me, do we also get to decide 'what' we put in those clean needles? You know, in case we wanted to, I don't know, maybe put them out of their misery? If so, then sign me up for those extra taxes!! hello1


wow... nice blanket statement. everyone with a drug addiction is a weak willed leech who sould be euthanized so the rest of us don't have to deal with their issues. hey, i bet that's what goes thru their minds when shooting up - Hey! i don't have to work! all i have to do is sit around this squat without any money for food, trying to feel good for about an hour, and hopefully not die while the tax payers foot the bill!

guess what - NO one wants to be and addict. yes, many addicts make bad choices, even stupid ones, but then, can we apply the same logic to ALL addicts here? ciggerette addicts, food addicts, booze addicts, shopping addicts... at some point they all have the ability to strain tax payers pocket books. what the hell ever happened to compasion? seriously, some of thes people have serious problems and if all it takes is a few dollars to help try to keep them healthy, then i am all for it.

a little bit of personal experience, btw - used to do meals on wheel in SF and some of the recipients were addicts. once you get talking you find about more about how they became addicts and your POV changes drastically. who are we to judge anyone who is NOT hurting anyone but themselves? yes, it can be a drain on society, but then so many things are, the invasion of Iraq comes to mind.. think of all the money spent that could have gone to social programs? could have rehabilitated drug addicts, instead of living them on the street to lead a lonely, painful life and, ulitmatly, most likely die?



I injected heroin for the first time when I was 13. I did it once more after that, had I not almost killed myself I probably would have continued. I just smoked it from then on.

I agree with what everyone has been saying. Drug use is going to happen. Provide a safe way to do it, make heroin legal, and try to get people help as much as possible.
SweetPenny
Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 8:51:16 PM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 6/15/2010
Posts: 1,271
Location: State of Confusion
While I do think that drugs should be made legal, I do not think that the government should be helping people get high.
DamonX
Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 9:30:39 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
SweetPenny wrote:
While I do think that drugs should be made legal, I do not think that the government should be helping people get high.


The government isn't helping people get high, Penny. They are allowing them to do what they do anyways, while limiting health problems and spread of disease caused by dirty needles and such.

If they were giving out free heroin....that would be helping people get high. Nobody is doing that.

Guest
Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 10:09:19 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
i dunno about eliminating health problems. they are still destroying their bodies that we are going to have to pay to fix. it does help prevent the spread of HIV however. thats a major plus.

i dont care what people do but i vote fund these places by donation. social programs...no mas!

Guest
Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010 9:52:06 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
oops..sorry. i read "eliminating" not "limiting"
WellMadeMale
Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010 12:46:00 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,289
Location: Cakeland, United States
I can't imagine providing a safe habitat and needles for drug users, unless you're also going to be providing clean and potent horse. Otherwise a problem still exists, and 'now' it exists and the government could be liable for overdoses and deaths, etc.

You'd almost have to provide free heroin and free medical aid as well.

But perhaps, that would be the route to go...and try to wean them off the drug while they are 'in the program'. Street heroin would still be illegal. I'm sure 'they' could strip search people before allowing 'them' to enter the premises.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
_Eros_
Posted: Monday, September 13, 2010 3:33:35 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 9/5/2010
Posts: 1
This is a tricky question.
There are already programs for drug users with substitutes of heroin. I think the most important in these programs is the motivation of the patient. What often happens is that at the end of treatment, when the person returns to their usual places they will drugs again. But if they manage to save one in ten is worth it. But, the truth is that we who pay taxes will always question the fact of giving drugs to drug addicts, paid with our money. It is true that this would reduce the diseases that are transmitted by addicts and who kill so many people. But if so, why not build roads for those who drink too much and still want to drive. They also kill many people.
But, that could be a resolution to the heroin problem.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:16:54 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
Debate within the legal system has suggested that drug crime should be considered as a health issue rather than a law and order offence. This is something I strongly agree with, considering programs like the drug court and prison methadone programs are far more cost effective than covering the cost of the spread of HepC in prison, and recidivism of drug crimes.

With community innovations like safe injecting rooms health professionals have argued that there are less fatalities, and the controlled environment for usage minimises harm and the spread of disease through shared needles. Chris Mullin, Chairman of Home Affairs Select Committee said “To reduce the harm caused by heroin use we have recommended a network of safe injecting rooms where chaotic users can inject safely, where needles can be disposed of and where those interested can get access to help. ”

This was later corroborated by the Sydney Morning Herald article which stated, “Australia’s first medically supervised injecting room managed 250 heroin overdoses in its first year but not one was fatal, a report out this morning says. And fears of a honey-pot effect — where the centre would attract drug dealers and cause a rise in local crime — have proved baseless.” (May 2002)

However, many members of the community, even including the UN's Narcotics control board, say that even with these benefits the rooms will not cut down the number of users. I don't believe it, but hey, they also want to cut down the number of prescription drugs handed out every year. Sorry boys, but you don't even want to get between my and my grandma's arthritis pain killers.

Similarly the debate over the legislation of cannabis, as to whether it should be made more easily accessible by legislation, carries with it many of these same arguments. In conjunction with this there is the alcohol and tobacco debate, in which people argue that these substances are freely available even though they too can result in substance abuse, as well as related violence and criminality....
So what I'm basically saying is, how is your alcoholic uncle really any different to a junkie?....it's still substance abuse and is just as damaging to the community and their own health, but alcoholism has reached a point of almost being socially acceptable, we don't see drunk's as substance abusers as a general rule and I see something intrinsically wrong with that, especially if you're going to be so disparaging one one type of abuser in comparison to another.

SO ESSENTIALLY - For Safe injecting rooms = cost effective, chance of lowering recidivism
Against = Not reducing numbers of users, encouraging (?) drug culture.

*bounces off soap box* Anyone interested in reading the articles give me a holler.

XX
BB

SweetPenny
Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 4:34:33 AM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 6/15/2010
Posts: 1,271
Location: State of Confusion
DamonX wrote:
SweetPenny wrote:
While I do think that drugs should be made legal, I do not think that the government should be helping people get high.


The government isn't helping people get high, Penny. They are allowing them to do what they do anyways, while limiting health problems and spread of disease caused by dirty needles and such.

If they were giving out free heroin....that would be helping people get high. Nobody is doing that.



Call it what you want, but helping people get high safely just simply isn't at the top of my Good Samaritan to do list.
Guest
Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 6:41:38 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 534,753
I have a few members of my extended family that are addicts - two that have been long time heroin addicts. So perhaps I speak from a point of view that is closer and biased than those who just look at it as taxpayers' dollars or governments legalizing smack and other drugs.

I also speak from hearing a few of my closest in medicine and in law.

Nothing is perfect. The arguments pro and con can be swaying for both sides.

A hard ass would say, let's just euthanize and be done with it ... a pretty cheap cost to do a soft overdose. A hard ass would say, fuck 'em, they wanna spread HIV ... be my guest - I doesn't affect me. A compassionate person says - the cost of an injection site that is safe, assists in the overall burden on resources; the police, health care, stress of families, etc.

How many times have I heard: "we had that Ricky in the ER again - fourth time this month - another oops with his drug needs." and "man, I am getting tired of remanding this kid. The courts can't do a thing." Far too many.

So ... after my own little story above, I am all for the safe injection sites (yes, the compassionate person noted above). To reduce the amount of all ready overtaxed resources for the cost of a site, would and is a blessing. We cannot make an addict stop (god knows, many of us have tried) until he/she wants to; or eventually they just die and fade away.

Van




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