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Needle Program


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#31 forumreader

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 08:18 AM

QUOTE(stevethedad @ Sep 26 2005, 04:24 PM)
I think the objections come down to fears that offering certain services; needles, free clinics, shelters, and soup kitchens might attract more of those who would use said services.

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In my mind, any type of needle program is quite different from "free clinics, shelters, and soup kitchens," some of which we do have in Folsom already.

Charity to others is generally accepted as something virtuous. Catholic kids grow up learning the Corporal Works of Mercy: Feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned; shelter the homeless; bury the dead.

I just don't see where "provide or give easy access to drug paraphernalia, so that addicts can continue their sad, downward spiral" fits into the list of charitable works. dry.gif

#32 CostcoLover

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 09:58 AM

I still wonder about the reasons the city has for supporting the program. I doubt that it's just for fun.
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#33 Chad Vander Veen

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 11:19 AM

If we're going to give heroin users needles and pretend they are "acts of kindness and charity", why don't we just take those same people and beat them to death with a rollerskate?

Either way, we're helping them die, we're just dressing it up differently.

#34 bishmasterb

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 11:46 AM

How about if everyone who is in favor of passing out free stuff simply sets up a booth and passes out free stuff. Why does the city have to be involved at all.

If you feel it's a good idea to pass out free needles, go ahead and do so. No need to make it a political issue.

While you're at it, I could use a Dell 24" flat panel display, please PM me if anyone decides to give those out.

#35 mylo

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 12:50 PM

I believe the city's issue is not with the drug addicts, although they are a problem, it's with infected needles stabbing kids in the park.

If you can encourage addicts to "exchange" these infected needles, there is less likelyhood the kids will get herpes, turn muslim, and start smoking pot.

It's not about stopping or encouraging drug use, it's about the children!
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#36 DrKoz23

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 02:25 PM

QUOTE(CostcoLover @ Sep 28 2005, 10:58 AM)
I still wonder about the reasons the city has for supporting the program.  I doubt that it's just for fun.

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This is not a city issue... and I do not think the city is supporting this program. The county (Sacramento) is thinking of instituting this program... and the city is trying to react to their proposal.

At least this is how I understand it. Does anyone else have more details?

#37 forumreader

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 03:38 PM

I think DrKoz23 is right. This is not a Folsom proposal. It is also not a needle exchange program, so it would not necessarily keep parks and streets free of dirty needles.

To me it sounds like a program supported by public health officials who want their numbers to look better. At best, that is a bandaid fix to any social problem with illegal drugs.


Folsom Cool to Needle Program

#38 tessieca

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 06:55 PM

Well, that's worse then. If, for example, Rancho Cordova says "no," and Folsom says "yes," guess where all of the IV drug users will travel. Let them buy in unincorporated areas of the county. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
"Sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident, teachers' unions have a long history of working against the interests of children in the name of job security for adults. And Democrats in particular have a history of facilitating this obstructionism in exchange for campaign donations and votes." . . .Amanda Ripley re "Waiting for Superman" movie.

#39 CostcoLover

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 09:03 PM

So there it is.... that's the rationale for the program.

"Studies show that increased availability of sterile needles can reduce the transfer of blood-borne pathogens, including HIV and the Hepatitis C virus. That point was argued to the council Tuesday by Glennah Trochet, Sacramento County's health officer.

She stressed that the program is a disease-prevention measure, not to be interpreted as either endorsing or combating intravenous drug use.

Needle sales without a prescription are common elsewhere in the nation, and 45 other states have adopted laws similar to SB 1159. Ten California counties, including Yolo and Solano, have authorized needle sales under the law."
"The important thing is not to stop questioning'' | "Imagination is more important than knowledge"
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California's Economy: Too Big To Fail?


#40 ducky

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 06:03 AM

Ms. Trochet may prefer to think of it as a way of reducing disease, but I can't get myself to look at the situation with that kind of tunnel vision. If you make it easier to obtain needles you are facilitating the use of a certain type of drug, an illegal type of drug.

People who are addicted to drugs are going to have some kind of health problem that we will all have to pay for eventually anyway. Those health problems won't necessarily come from the fact that they shared a needle, i.e., heart problems, liver problems, brain damage.

The study referred to still doesn't address the problem of used-needle disposal, nor does it address whether these other communities that have these needle sales programs realized an increase in drug addicts and the need for more law enforcement because of the problems that follow. All it says is it "can reduce."

I think we should be concentrating on helping people overcome their addictions AND getting the drugs off the streets.


#41 forumreader

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 07:51 AM

Great post, ducky! That is exactly how I see this issue.

This proposed needle program is neither comprehensive nor charitable. It sounds like public health officials playing a numbers game and simply moving around the deficits.



#42 bishmasterb

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 07:58 AM

QUOTE(forumreader @ Sep 29 2005, 08:51 AM)
This proposed needle program is neither comprehensive nor charitable.  It sounds like public health officials playing a numbers game and simply moving around the deficits.

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From what I can tell from reading the article, this isn't really a needle program, is it? It's simply that the state has lifted the ban on needles sales, once again allowing private pharmacists to sell needles (up to 10), if approved by local governments.

This doesn't have any direct cost to government/taxpayers.

You could argue that it has indirect costs (by "encouraging" drug use), but the other side can argue that by not allowing needle sales, the indirect costs of healthcare will increase due to the spread of disease through shared needles.

#43 forumreader

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 08:11 AM

We don't sell guns to people with known criminal records. Why? There is a good likelihood that a gun purchased by a criminal will be used in committing another crime. We don't want more crime.

Why then, sell needles to people who are drug addicts? Most likely the needles purchased will be used to abuse drugs. Do we want more drug abuse and the consequences (health issues, poverty, crime, etc.)?

#44 tessieca

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 08:13 AM

Excellent point, Forumreader.
"Sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident, teachers' unions have a long history of working against the interests of children in the name of job security for adults. And Democrats in particular have a history of facilitating this obstructionism in exchange for campaign donations and votes." . . .Amanda Ripley re "Waiting for Superman" movie.

#45 CostcoLover

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 10:56 AM

QUOTE(forumreader @ Sep 29 2005, 09:11 AM)
Why then, sell needles to people who are drug addicts?  Most likely the needles purchased will be used to abuse drugs.  Do we want more drug abuse and the consequences (health issues, poverty, crime, etc.)?

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I'm not sure I believe that the ability or inability to purchase needles in the open market will have an increase or decrease in the level of drug abuse.

As Bish stated, you can argue the costs on both sides. Both sides have probably argued these costs.... with a resultant 45 states supporting similar approaches.

Perhaps if the costs of helping people could be addressed, we wouldn't be in this situation.

We could:
1. Raise taxes to cover the costs of helping people get off drugs
2. Address the government waste and use those funds to help people get off drug
3. Legalize and tax drug use to cover the costs involved in helping people get off drugs.
4. Raise taxes to have more cops catch more drug users/sellers and help support the costs of keeping people incarcerated

And so on.... it's easy to assess right/wrong decisions, since we all come at them from our moral pinnacles, but sometimes in real life pragmatic solutions are not as ideal, and in spite of our moral abhorrment of such solutions, they improve the situation.

Example? The legalized killing of elephants in Africa. When it was illegal, the elephant population was near its demise due to poaching, and while making it legal probably doesn't satisfy many, it's a solution that is working.

What are the alternate proposals to protect the population from infectious diseases, and how do you propose funding those solutions?

"The important thing is not to stop questioning'' | "Imagination is more important than knowledge"
-- Albert Einstein--

California's Economy: Too Big To Fail?





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