Regarding the letter to the editor “Twisted Logic” (GT, 1/12), it does not seem to put forth either logic or common sense as the author intended. The author chooses to argue from the vantage point of their world view vs. taking the simple, common sense step of researching the issue and offering a clear and better defined opinion. “Common sense” as articulated by my then 11-year-old daughter is “just Google it.”
First item I found points out some logical and common sense things that “comprehensive” needle exchange programs do. For example: “Nearly 30 years of research has shown that comprehensive SSPs are safe, effective and cost-saving, do not increase illegal drug use or crime and play an important role in reducing the transmission of viral hepatitis, HIV and other infections.”
Beyond this report, common sense would lead me to believe that IV drug users are encouraged to turn in their syringes for new ones (wow, less needles on trails, beaches, etc.), less likely to reuse or share needles (ah, harm reduction is also “common sense”), and get this: per the CDC, needle users engaging in needle exchange become 5 times more likely than non-participants to enroll in treatment services. Why? Because the staff exchanging the syringes are doing more than just exchanging syringes, they are building relationships, offering information and support about alternatives that are open to the individual caught in the cycle of addiction.
Common sense would lead us to examine and ask if our local Needle Exchange programs are “comprehensive” as described by the CDC. Common sense that does not lead to the common good is not common sense.
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