: psyc325 Chantal

Topic: psyc325 Chantal

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It took me a while to figure out what question I wanted to pick. I thought I would pick a question that I found interesting and maybe go in a direction that I thought others wouldn’t. So my question is: Should needle exchange be publicly funded? My answer yes.
When I read about the reasons we should fund the needle exchange program it made sense. Intravenous drug use can lead to AIDS and needle exchange programs can prevent this. Yes this might seem like a dumb cause but the purpose of this is to prevent the spread of AIDS and while doing this we can also try to educate drug users on the dangers of what they are doing and try to offer treatment programs. So why not at least try this program out to see if it does any good? Well a lot of the negatives on this particular program are that it promotes drug use, it does not decrease AIDS transmission and it costs too much. Needle exchange would be about $2,000 per user per year (Thirteen). By funding this it can prevent tens of thousands of new cases of HIV and save the government about $500 million on medical expense for those new cases. So is it worth it in the long run? I think so. This doesn’t have to be a forever program but it can be something that we try out for a year or two in different areas to see the results and if it doesn’t work then cut the program. Drug users are not responsible enough to know that using illegal hard core drugs is an extremely bad decision so they are not going to be responsible enough to not use the same needle over or share needles.

As for the many arguments against the needle program such as it promotes drug use and it does not help HIV transmission. Well between 1991 and 1997 the US government funded seven reports on the needle program and found that it reduced HIV transmission and they found that it did not cause drug rate use to go up (Heller, Paone, Siegler & Karpati, 2009). What I found funny was that on the no side of this question on thirteen.org, David S. Noffs who is against the needle program said that studies were done in 1992 and 1997 that found that the needle program had no effect on HIV transmission and it promoted drug use (Thirteen). So which study is right? Are the people doing these studies bias? Are they trying to prove their hypothesis by only looking at the information that supports their study? Which study is correct? It’s hard to say and I do not have the answers but I do think that this program could help in the prevention of AIDS and to me I think that is worth a shot.

Daliah I Heller, Denise Paone, Anne Siegler and Adam Karpati, “The syringe gap: an assessment of sterile

syringe need and acquisition among syringe exchange program participants in New York City,”

Harm Reduction Journal (London, United Kingdom: January 2009), p. 4.

https://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/pdf/1477-7517-6-1.pdf

Thirteen. (n.d) Should needle exchange be publicly funded? Thirteen.org. Retrieved from:

https://www.thirteen.org/closetohome/viewpoints/html/needle.html

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