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  • Writer's pictureAction Idaho

Promoting Degeneracy in Idaho: Needle-Exchange Programs, Part 2

This article is the second in a series on Idaho's needle-exchange programs. Find Part 1 here.

Needle-exchange programs are just one example of "harm prevention" or "harm reduction." Young students are taught to put condoms on in the name of pregnancy prevention in Idaho's Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program. Youth are exposed to saucy literature in libraries and elsewhere in the name of HIV Prevention, among other things.

“Harm reduction” is also used to fix the so-called homelessness crisis. It justifies allowing the homeless to live in tents. Then the public provides the tents. “Harm reduction” leads to such tent cities having needle exchange programs and latrines at public expense. Perhaps the homeless can have space heaters (to reduce the harms of the cold) and more permanent shelters to reduce the harm. Harm reduction means public housing for the poor, as in Seattle. And then better upkeep.

Much the same applies to drug use. Supplying cleaner needles to protect against pathogens in the bloodstream is just a first step. Often opioids—especially meth and fentanyl—are stronger than its users know. Harm reduction might require government to dispense safe fentanyl doses to users for safer use. Or safe oxycotin to users. These are, after all, the leading causes of drug death among Americans and Idahoans. Why stop there? Harm reduction can justify government becoming the biggest drug dealer in the world.

The principle of harm reduction has no obvious limiting principle. The harm reducers have no way of telling us what they will not do in the name of harm prevention. What they will do in the name of harm reduction includes degrading the culture and making a degenerate citizenry.

Harm reduction cannot be the basis for sound public policy.

Harm reduction begins with the idea of respecting the rights of people who use drugs. Idaho Harm Reduction Program, for instance, defines success as people who use opioids but are not harmed thereby through overdoses or death.

What harm reducers do to decrease the risk also has the effect of destigmatizing drug use. This process began when politicians legalized needle-exchange programs, as we discussed in part one. Making things legal attaches honor to activities or removes dishonor. The use of needles is destigmatized. Shiny vending machines are placed in prominent public places. This means there is less shame attached to drug use. Less shame means more use.

Groups like Idaho Harm Reduction do not care how many people use the drugs and do not seek to reduce its use. From their point of view, the more clean needles given out, the better. If a million Idahoans became addicted to heroin, but none died of overdoses or got blood-related diseases, that would be a success according to IHRP. But if only 50,000 used heroin and 10,000 had related medical issues that would be failure. It is a sick calculus.

These programs have a narrow understanding of harm. Their “harm reduction” ignores the smashed dreams, the broken families, the wasted years, and the meaningless lives associated with opioid use. “Harm reduction” destroys the social fabric of the city so that more people can live meaningless lives.

Harm reduction programs obviously promote degeneracy. They treat drug use as a technical problem, not a problem of character and meaning. A self-governing, self-respecting people says "no" to drugs. This program says “yes” to drugs, but hopes to control the side-effects. The result is more dispirited, addicted people and the normalization of drug use. Nothing could be more damaging to the spirit of a free people.

Drug users are not free. They are enslaved to their base passions. And those who abet their drug use are putting the users in chains. Such degeneracy cannot be supported through the government of a free people. In a future, well-governed Idaho those who run outfits like IHRP will be social outcasts. In the short term, our government must aim to prevent drug use and to interdict drug trafficking and restigmatizing needle-exchange programs. In the long term, our culture must deal with the crisis of meaning that encourages people to turn to drugs.

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