Social Nihilists Promote Needle Exchange for Junkies


It was one year ago this month that lawmakers in Fresno County, California wisely rescinded their previous support for a local needle-exchange program, which supplied  clean needles and syringes to junkies with which they could shoot up.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.

This entry was published on September 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM. It’s filed under Public Policy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Social Nihilists Promote Needle Exchange for Junkies

  1. jason on said:

    Sorry, one more thing. to me it is just common sense. Let the professionals, in this example medical professionals set the policy for medical issues. Not special interest, not politicians, not mayors, not religious nuts.

    Disease affects everyone, while it may “blossom” in a sub group, it quickly spreads to the general population. The dumbest possible solution to any issue, is to do nothing. ALSO, there are 6,500 liver transplants because of Hepatitis C in the USA each year. The average cost of a liver transplant is $577,100, and 5 years later only 70% are still alive. Who is paying for the costs for junkies or former junkies to have a liver transplant? YOU. Want to save some $? Let other people give a couple dollars of needles out.

    Fun fact: Hepatitis C is most commonly transmitted through dirty needles, accidental healthcare exposure,i.e., needle prick, transplants, etc., sex, tattoos, piercings, sharing hairbrushes, toothbrushes, nail files, razors, from mother to child through pregnancy, or breastfeeding, and transmission though food or water because of contamination from unwashed hands after restroom-Cheap buffets!

    My point is no one is immune. Humans, as a species, need to do everything we possible can to cleanse the earth of all diseases that attack us, regardless of our imagined causes.

    • I just got this and I wish to only respond a little. Feel free not to post if I have overstepped my bounds but the stupidity in this rebuttal is amazing. First I would like to ask what is a religious “nut” Is that the same as a liberal nut or an atheist nut? The entire defense was for these poor souls that did nothing wrong. Oooops wait a minute. It was for people who abused the rules of the God of religious nuts. Sorry, your rebuttal only will make sense to others who want to enable homosexuality, drug abuse and living that good old free life that gets you into all these problems. By the way, in a clean , hetero marriage (one man one woman) they won’t get aids because they are disciplined and faithful.
      Some times I feel like a nut, some times I don’t but I always want to be one.

  2. jason on said:

    1st AIDS is NOT a POTENTIAL killer, it is a KILLER
    2nd “delivering” them from AIDS, keeps them from dying of AIDS, spreading it, and so others die.
    3rd, drug addiction IS A POTENTIAL killer, where AIDS WILL kill you, drugs MIGHT not.
    4th, you can make a decision to change your life and get clean, you can not do that with AIDS.
    5th NO ONE starts shooting up because there is a needle exchange, in fact the key word is EXCHANGE, so you can not just go get needles, you trade old for new. you can get needles off the internet, some states sell them, drug dealers sell them, so there are needles out there. Its not like they have suddenly introduced needles into the community.
    6th, if you think needle exchanges do more harm than good, get yourself a folding table, or whatever, and go set it up by the needle exchange. BUT instead of giving out needles, you just cure their addiction, then they wont need needles! So simple its stupid!
    So until you setup your instant cure table let people have their needle exchange. not only are you reducing the risk to the drug user, you are reducing the risk to everyone.
    the could get sick, and spread disease via fluids, get raped, rape, get clean and not know your sick, and be careless one time. all of these thing involve 1 OTHER PERSON GETING A DIEASE.
    and for you ultra right wings, if they get sick with AIDS, for example,(chance of a junkie having health insurance?) chances are they will be admitted to a hospital, and not pay, or pay via Medicare, Medicaid, Obama Care, or not pay, IE the tax payer will pay.
    and with no health insurance, means no preventive care, so when they get sick, it will be bad, chances are as bad as it can get for their specific illness, chances are that will cost as much as the hospital can possible charge. hearing about an $800,000.00 hospital bill is not unusual.
    so if thats the bill for 1 person, the city pays that, thats a library, a community center, and improved road, or a really good salary, especially during a resin, for 10 people for 1 year.
    now think, that could be 1 persons bill, for 1 visit, not including hospice care, meals on wheels, funeral costs, medication costs, (AIDS meds are VERY expensive!) God forbid this happens to you or someone you love.
    i am a heroin addict, never used a needle exchange, or shared a needle, became addicted to pain killer after an accident, and an idiot DR. but i discover that heroin was 5% of the cost of my pain killers. people can end up where i am my accident.
    P.S. want to live your life from the advice of your imaginary friend? fine.
    But dont expect all of society to do it as well.

  3. Thanks! My friend Laura McAlpine wrote a great book on drug addiction- I was super blessed by it.

  4. pastorjackwilson on said:

    First, they should arrest this guy and anyone who even looks like him. Second, I would put these die hard druggies in a one year isolation program. Dry them out and reprogram their brain. The idea of a three month program that sends people back to their friends and old haunts, fails 99% of the time. Forced imprisonment (although the surroundings should be nice so that they learn to live in a nice environment. Of course, Christian preachers seeing them everyday would be the boost that they need.

    • My daughter is an addict. She didn’t grow up dreaming of being one. Genetic predisposition along with tremendous social anxiety, lack of self esteem, father moving away…all at a young age. Who really knows? Addiction touches all socio-economic groups and all neighborhoods. My daughter uses the needle exchange in Fresno. Ghost to that crazy looking and turns in her needles for clean ones. If it wasn’t there she would still shoot up. With any needles she could find. The countless abscesses she had before finding the exchange never stopped her. Fear of death never stopped her. Addiction is stronger than the will to live unfortunately. This is why it is one of the number one killers in America today.

      But Dr. Lasher’s kind words gave my daughter hope. He encouraged her to come to his methadone clinic and try the program. You may think methadone is just another drug. But you would think differently if you were the mother of an addict with aten year long habit by the age of 28. If you had sat watching the phone and waiting for that final call every night with your heart in your stomach. I see people on methadone living full lives, going to school, maintaining jobs and having families. So the seed was planted and today my daughter is in the methadone program with a chance at life. Dr Lasher is a good man and donates his time because he cares.

      And to be clear, drug addiction is not a choice. It is not a moral failing. It is not just bad behavior. It is a disease. A devastating disease that destroys even the brightness young minds. It could happen in any family. Even good Christian families.

      However, I DO agree with the lock down rehab facility idea. It really doesn’t make sense to ask people who are not of their right minds to make rational decisions about recovery. I pray my daughter sticks with it but if I had my choice, I would like to see her locked up in a treatment facility with no choice but to work on herself and confront all of the “stuff” she has been drowning out with drugs. Addicts need time without drugs to let their brains heal and to learn how to deal with their emotions and with life on life’s terms.

      On that mire though, please don’t insist that everone find Jesus! We are Jewish. I would like to believe that you don’t feel Jews (or Buddhists ect.) should just end it all right now because there’s no hope of recovery without Jesus. I would keep the spiritual element but encourage everyone to find strength in the god of their understanding.

      Food for thought anyway from someone’s life who has been changed forever by the affliction of addiction. This is a baffling disease as they say. The War on Drugs has not worked. This country needs to do something drastically different as this disease is of epidemic proportions and way off the charts out of control. Back to Dr Lasher… at least he is trying to do something. After riding the ups and downs with my daughter for more than 10 years, after several overdoses where I nearly lost her, after abscesses and sepsis, harm reduction does not seem like a bad thing. It is not a cure or a solution to the problem but it may keep my girl on this Earth for a while longer.

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