Pubdate: Thu, 15 Oct 1998
Date: 10/15/1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Author: Pete Lister
Note: Headline by MAP

May I introduce a little pragmatism to the subject of needle

I know many in our community view this as a moral issue, believing
that society is simply aiding and abetting the addicted. However, when
you look at the alternatives, this is the only logical course of action.

I would rather subsidize an immoral habit than pay the tremendous cost
of caring for that addict after he or she becomes infected.

The cost of treating AIDS or hepatitis drains resources that could
well be spent in other, more constructive, areas. How much money could
be better spent for education or health care for poor families if we
didn't have to treat preventable terminal illnesses for addicts?

This issue is not about supporting a habit. It's about deflecting the
tremendous financial burden that we all have to shoulder, partly as a
result of well-intentioned, albeit shortsighted, moral judgments.

I would rather pay pennies for needles than millions of dollars for
years of hospice.

Pete Lister Milwaukee