Pubdate: Tue, 26 Dec 2000
Date: 12/26/2000
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Author: Tom Saladino

Re: "Premature act" (Editorial, Dec. 17):

Your attitude on distributing clean needles to drug addicts seems to
be: Since being an addict is harmful to one's health, we might as well
make it worse by denying access to clean needles.

You state, "Exchanges promote the even larger dangers that drug abuse
inflicts on addicts, such as fatal overdoses and suicides." Can you
really believe that providing clean needles promotes drug addiction?
That people decide whether or not to become addicts based on the
availability of clean needles? Are you seriously suggesting that
addicts would say, "Gee, since I can't get a clean needle, I'll just
stop being an addict, and therefore eliminate the risk of a fatal overdose?"

You imply that a policy of disallowing a needle exchange program is
humanitarian, and even helpful to drug addicts, when in reality it is
merely punitive and mean-spirited.

Tom Saladino,
San Diego