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GOP restores ban on needle-exchange funding

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Patters, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    GOP restores ban on needle-exchange funding

    It took AIDS activists 21 years to get Congress to restore federal funding for local programs that supply clean needles to drug users. It's taken Republicans a couple of months of hardball negotiations to get the ban reinstated.

    Legislation to fund government operations for 2012, which President Obama is about to sign, includes an amendment prohibiting federal spending on needle exchanges in both domestic and international programs. That was the law from 1988 until December 2009, when Obama signed a Democratic-sponsored appropriations bill lifting the restrictions.

    ...

    A 1997 study said HIV infection rates had dropped by 5.8 percent in 29 cities around the world with needle-exchange programs, and increased by 5.9 percent in 52 cities without them. A report in 2000 by David Satcher, surgeon general under President George H.W. Bush, said the programs reduce HIV transmission among vulnerable populations without increasing drug use.

    Opponents argue, however, that needle exchanges encourage the use of dangerous drugs and that federal funding undercuts the government's antidrug message.
  2. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    It's not just HIV - it's hepatitis, too. Hep is highly contagious and spread through needle sharing and repeated reusage.

    But hey - it's just another junkie, right?
  3. mcgraw_wv

    mcgraw_wv Rookie

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    raise the money your self, to fund the causes you want to support. No way do I want to fund that behavior. Fund it yourself, donate to nonprofits, stop asking the whole country to support druggies, and provide safer tools to do drugs...

    Want to stop spreading HIV, stop sharing needles, stop needing needles by being a drug user...

    Personal Responsibility. Its the new hip idea this coming year.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  4. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    are there other things that cause HIV & Hepatitis besides dirty needles.

    :confused::confused::confused:
  5. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    The needle exchange funding will save you money. I know, I know, just say no (because that works).
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Interestingly enough, Ron Paul supported the initial ban - but reversed his decision and worked to repeal it two years ago.

    In other words, he thinks it works.

    Republicans in Congress were pushing to reinstate the only recently repealed syringe exchange funding ban. Lifted two years ago as part of the FY 2010 budget bill, the ban had prevented states from making their own decisions as to whether to use federal AIDS grant funding to support needle exchange programs. As most if not all aspects of the drug issue demonstrate, when Republicans talk about state and local control, they don't sincerely mean it, at least not as a group. (The libertarian-minded Ron Paul initially supported the ban, but changed his view and helped repeal it years later.)

    Breaking: Congress Votes to Kill People | StoptheDrugWar.org
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  7. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    If Heroin addicts had any self respect or sense then having to share a needle with that guy who hasn't bathed in a week would be an inhibitor, as it stands it just costs society more to take the clean needles away in the long run.
  8. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Virtually everything will "save" you money. the problem is, virtually everything costs money. Handing out helments to people saves money. So does buying people treadmills. How about a gym membership? While I understand the idea, and the intention, we're broke. I don't think the government should be in the business of subsidizing, and by default encouraging, bad behavior. People are always free to donate to causes they believe in. At this point I'd much rather we focus our money elsewhere.
  9. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe we should start a program where we give alchoholics cab rides home. :D
  10. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    Maybe we should start a program where greedy republicans just don't pay any taxes at all? At least then no one would have to listen to them constantly working to justify their greed.
  11. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey



    You do understand that reinstating this particular ban doesn't change the amount of money the government is going to spend on the larger program which encompassed this one, don't you? (The Ryan White Program) It simply means that whatever money went towards a needle exchange fund will go to some other part of the larger program.

    http://activepolitic.com:82/News/2011-12-17d/Congress_Votes_to_Ban_Needle_Exchange_Programs.html


    About the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  12. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    This is a painfully ignorant post from someone who doesn't understand drug addiction or communicable disease. What a foolish world you must live in. My condolences to you and yours.
  13. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    AKA a parallel universe that has no basis in reality.. and believes addictions are something that you can change if you want to.

    Addictions, unfortunately, have little to do with self control.

    The reality is that this type of program saves lives and money in the long run.. and unfortunately the right loves to pander to the christian right, rather than common sense and what is good for this country.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  14. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So, too bad for the unlucky person who happens to unwittingly sleep with the addict? Too bad for the soldier who got addicted to drugs because he has chronic pain. Too bad for the severely abused child who as a young adult learned to escape those haunting memories by using drugs. Too bad for teenager who was plied with drugs by older "friends," who thought it was funny to see him high. Too bad for the construction worker who unwittingly became addicted to drugs because he used opiates so that he could work through pain and provide for his family. Too bad for the the taxpayers who will have to pay for medical care for addicts who contract HIV and Hep C. Too bad for the taxpayers who will have to pay for more police, courts, and prisons as addicts become more desperate and commit more crimes.

    The reality is that addiction is a disease of the brain that affects the same part of the brain that drives things like sex, hunger, and thirst. No one ever sets out to be an addict, and it's a very difficult disease to control. Clean needles not only help keep addicts and their lovers safe, they also promote personal responsibility (since the addict has to get the needles) and provides a gateway for addicts to seek recovery services.

    In my opinion, the phrase 'personal responsibility' is used by lazy people who have no solutions to problems. Personal responsibility is a concept, not an implementable solution, and using it in relation to addiction shows a woeful ignorance of the nature of addiction.
  15. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The difference is that addiction, from an economic point of view, hits the nonaddict in a huge number of ways: We have to pay for some level of healthcare; we have to pay for the police, courts and prisons; we have to deal with the reality that addiction drives up crime rates and drives down property values; we have to deal with the reality that addiction begets addiction, as dealers are always willing to introduce impressionable young people to substance abuse. Addicts who use needle exchanges are connected to the recovery community, and needle exchanges encourage addicts to embrace sobriety, not use drugs. It's the addicts who are disconnected from services who are encouraged to engage in bad behavior.
  16. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    But...but...shouldn't we all support programs for every kind of down-trodden, broken or broke citizens?:rolleyes:

    Being a recovering drug addict/alcoholic myself, I don't mind supporting some programs that offer help to those willing to help themselves. But I do not support programs that enable people to continue to live an active life of drug-addiction. Heck, we could give out free booze so people won't drink vanilla extract, home brew or mouth-wash too.

    As a matter of fact, I think ALL public programs should only be provided to those who are actively seeking to improve themselves as long as they are capable of doing so. I am not referring to physically/mentally handicapped individuals.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  17. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Then why don't we just legalize all illegal drugs? Would that eliminate drug dealers, lethal & contaminated drugs and the like? I think legalizing all drugs would cut costs far more than subsidizing addicts.
  18. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You know, this is an issue I've been struggling with for several years now, and where I stand at this point is:

    - Legalize all drugs nationwide, but through a program that greatly regulates the producers and suppliers, so that we do not spread drugs around the world and do not buy supplies from criminal drug dealers.
    - Invest significantly in drug treatment programs to prepare for the possibility of an onslaught of ODs and new problems, as the nature of drugs use shifts, in most cases (hopefully) for the better, but in some cases (certainly) for the worse, as well as to address drug addiction in general.
    - Require one to take a 2 hour course in substance abuse before they can get the drugs.
    - Make the legalization a trial for 5 years to see how it worked.

    That said, with the legalization of drugs, things like needle exchanges and other harm reduction tools will become even more important.

    In addition, we'd still have to deal with the problems faced by addicts, who may have criminal records, few job skills, great anxiety, physical pain, and really not understand how sober life works.

    Legalizing drugs would destroy many gangs and many bad people, and that in itself would help addicts, many of whom have some real fear of their drug connections.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  19. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Nice post Patters...I have very few issues with any of the above. The thing we all have to accept is that some/many addicts don't care if they live or die and we can't attempt to save all of them. Even AA only attempts to help those who want to help themselves.

    I've had many people ask me to speak with someone they know who is addicted. The first thing I ask them is "Do they want to talk to me?" If they don't, then I have to tell them I can't help them. It's sad, but society is better off focusing our resources on those seeking a way out.

    Does that mean we turn our backs on those unwilling to help themselves? Probably yes.
  20. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The only thing I'll say for those unwilling to help themselves, some of them don't even understand the issue. The only way of life they know and they only way of life they ever expected was street. Every now and then I run into the addict who was saved by prison and probation. Also, I think most addicts by the time they're in their mid-30s has made more than one unsuccessful and genuine attempt at sobriety. As far as those who really don't care, the cheapest solution is to give them welfare and drugs, but that's not a much better solution than preaching about "personal responsibility." I think any attempt at a solution leaves a lot to be desired.

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