It was one year ago this month that lawmakers in Fresno County, California wisely rescinded their previous support for a local needle-exchange program, which supplied clean needles and syringes to junkies with which they could shoot up.
Fresno recognized, however belatedly, that the program was enabling drug addiction in the name of so-called “harm reduction.”
Dr. Marc Lasher, who founded Fresno’s needle exchange program, thinks the county’s ban wrongheaded.
So every weekend, he and his team of volunteers pile on an old school bus (kind of like Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, as immortalized by Tom Wolfe in “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”), drive to a drug-infested Fresno neighborhood and hand out fresh needles in exchange for dirty needles.
Lasher and his team wear bright yellow T-shirts with an image on front of God offering a biohazard waste container to Adam, who is holding a dirty syringe – an irreverent send-up of Michelangelo’s painting, “The Creation of Adam,” on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
But God would hardly approve of needle exchange.
The rationale for such programs, which came into being at the height of the AIDS epidemic, is that, by giving junkies clean needles, communities can reduce the spread of AIDS through intravenous drug use.
That’s what morally-relativist proponents of needle exchange mean when they refer to “harm reduction.” But what they are really talking about is social nihilism.
For how is harm reduced by rescuing a person from one potential killer – AIDS – only to deliver them to another – drug abuse?
A far superior alternative to needle exchange is drug treatment, to help addicts overcome their deadly habit.
Indeed, the most successful organization in helping IV drug users ists like him enable with their needle exchange is Narcotics Anonymous, founded by a Christ follower, which offers a spiritual program of recovery from drug addiction.
NA employs a 12-step program similar to its forerunner, Alcoholics Anonymous, in which addicts admit their powerlessness over their addiction and lay their burden upon God (and His Son, who casts out demons).
For drug addicts cannot beat their addiction in their own strength; nor with the help of enablers like Lasher. But whom the Son sets free is free indeed.