Drug Use Needle Exchange Program Term Paper

Pages: 2 (644 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

Drug Use needle exchange program is a social policy focused on reducing the harm associated with drug users injecting themselves with hypodermic needles containing diseases. The basic premise of such a program is that drug users can exchange used needles for an equal number of new, sterilized needles. The concept began as a result of statistics showing that one if five of all new HIV infections and a majority of all cases of Hepatitis C were the direct result of using an unclean needle in order to inject oneself with drugs.

Studies have found needle exchange programs to be highly effective in preventing the spread of such blood-born diseases as HIV and Hepatitis C for this reason, such governmental agencies as the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control support and even advocate for the use of such programs. These organizations have found that needle exchange programs have resulted in a seventy-four percent reduction in high risk injection behavior. Despite this benefit and governmental support, needle exchange programs do not receive federal funding.

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In evaluating whether to support a needle exchange program, one essentially has to balance the interest of protecting drug users from diseases and from protecting individuals from using drugs. An argument against needle exchange programs is that it encourages drug use and discourages drug users from seeking proper treatment. However, I believe that the social benefit of such programs outweighs these concerns. The program is targeted at hard-core drug users, a category that is beyond help. However, this does not mean that we should not work to protect them from disease, something that costs society more in the long run. Further, it also protects society by limiting the spread of harmful and deadly diseases.

Bastos, Fl. And Strathdee, SA. (2000): "Evaluating effectiveness of syringe exchange programs: Current issues and future prospects." Social Science and Medicine. 51:1771-1782.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Drug Use Needle Exchange Program Is a Assignment

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2005): Syringe Exchange Programs.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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