The Instigator
hstancil
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Should clean needles be given to drug addicts?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2015 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 803 times Debate No: 70985
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

hstancil

Pro

Should clean needles be given to drug addicts?
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I accept the debate.

As Con, I will be arguing that drug addicts should not be given clean needles.

Please begin Pro, and best of luck!
Debate Round No. 1
hstancil

Pro

A majority of drug addicts aren't going to care if they're using a clean or a dirty needle. So, they're going to abuse drugs either way. We might as well try to help prevent them from getting a disease such as AIDS or HIV.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I thank Pro for the speedy first round.

I will begin with arguments, and then if space allows I will provide rebuttals.

Arguments

I. Encouraging drug-addicts

This argument is pretty straightforward, but providing clean needles to drug-addicts is literally enabling their addiction. The difference between helping an addict, and enabling them is clear once we look at the definitions.

Helping = assisting the addict with something that they are truly unable of doing themselves.

Enabling = assisting the addict with something that they are truly capable of doing and by all means should be doing themselves.

In AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and in Al-Anon (a support group for the spouses/family members of addicts) - enabling the addiction is something that is highly discouraged. [1] [2] [3]

When we provide clean needles to addicts, not only are we doing something for them that is there own responsibility, but we are also saying, "hey, don't quit, just use clean needles" and then we literally give them clean needles. This does nothing to solve the addiction at the root, but rather supports the addiction to the point where we are literally supplying them with the means to remain addicted.

Thus, providing clean needles supports the addiction, which is something my opponent must justify as Pro. How is supporting the addiction the right course of action? The whole point of helping addicts is to get them clean and help them get there life back together. We should not be enabling the addiction when all that does is allow them to delve further into their addiction and cause greater harm in the long run.

II. Cost

Who is responsible for paying for the cost of clean needles? As a taxpayer, there is no obligation whatsoever, both moral and legal, for me to be forced to support the habit of a drug user. That is a seriously absurd notion. If anything, my taxes should go towards programs that pay for their recovery - atleast then they are moving towards becoming productive members of society once more - rather than just using more and more drugs with clean needles. The harms outweigh the benefits in this case, and until Pro justifies both a legal and moral obligation for paying for such a thing, the cost alone is enough for this resolution to be voted in favor of negation. Pro has the BOP, so now I leave it up to Pro to provide the legal and moral justification for the cost of the needles.

III. Distribution

Who is in charge of distributing the needles? How can we guarantee that these needles are clean? What we must realize is that it's not just the cost of needles we need to worry about, but also the cost of the distribution staff, the manufacturers, and the employees responsible for ensuring these needles travel safe and remain safe until use. All of these things cost money, and all of it is money spent of a fruitless cause. Pro must justify and provide a reasonable scenario that ensures that such things are taken care of. Otherwise, there is no point in supporting Pro's position in this debate as it is one that has yet to be fully fleshed-out and checked by reason and thought.

IV. Contributing to Non-Contributors

It's safe to assume that if someone is so addicted to a substance to the point where they don't even care where they receive needles from, then they aren't contributing to our society in a substantial way. I highly doubt the heroin addict living in the back alley using dirty needles pays taxes, or spends money purchasing goods that are taxable. If a non-contributor isn't helping our society, why should us, contributors, help them? I see no moral obligation to do so, when they've done nothing to help me. I do not subscribe to any religion, morals are nothing more than subjective values we base our lives and interactions on, so why should I support someone who hasn't supported me if I feel no moral obligation to do so? Pro must justify this because it makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Rebuttals

Pro argues that "drugs addicts don't care if they're using a clean or dirty needle."

Okay, so then why should I care? They're nothing but a burden in our society. They are no role model for kids, no positive contributors to our economy, and don't even care enough about themselves to take the necessary precautions to avoid STD's or other diseases. Honestly, they are a scorn that should die out, and are doing so. It's called Darwinism, and in this world, only the strong (or those wealthy enough to pay for life-sustaining medicines) survive. I see no benefit from providing clean needles to those who serve literally no purpose in our society.

Pro then says, "they're going to abuse drugs either way."

I disagree, if we took the money it'd cost to pay for staffing and clean needles, and put it towards free recovery programs for the addicts, they might not necessarily continue abusing drugs - but rather, they might find recovery and once more be contributing members in our society. I find this to be a much better alternative than Pro's defeatist attitude. Ultimately, Pro is working on a faulty premise, assuming that they won't ever change, when in reality that possibility exists as long as they are alive.

Lastly, Pro says, "we might as well try to help prevent them from getting a disease such as AIDS or HIV."

This is again, a defeatist attitude from Pro. We can do so much more than merely prevent disease, especially with the funds it would cost to purchase needles in the first place. I believe Pro's entire position is based on the faulty premise that enabling addiction is the best course of action, when clearly there are other and more beneficial courses to follow suchas the ones I have provided.

In closing,

I've now presented four arguments negating the resolution, as well as rebuttals to each point raised by Pro thus far.

I now return the floor to Pro.

Thank you.

Sources

[1] http://candaceplattor.com...
[2] http://www.familiesagainstnarcotics.org...
[3] http://www.alternativesintreatment.com...


Debate Round No. 2
hstancil

Pro

hstancil forfeited this round.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

My opponent, Pro, has forfeited the final round.

This forfeit leaves me standing unchallenged, as my rebuttals and arguments have been met with no response from Pro.

For these reasons, I urge a vote for Con.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Basically less STDs in the population is a good thing that outweights the cost of the needles. For the crack addicts themselves, if they ever cease being crack addicts it's better if they can make a more full recovery from that lifestyle.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Tell me how needles will help a crack adict?
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
I wholly agree with Missmedic on this issue, even more so considering the low cost of needles. However, pro opted to not counter any cons points, or even defend his own.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
@Jonnykelly, you are correct sir.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
It is the government's responsibility to reduce the harm that drug cause any and all of it's citizens.
It is the government's responsibility to reduce, eliminate and protect all of it's citizens from disease.
Giving clean needles encourages healthy life choices and has been proven to dramatically reduce transmitting HIV. Making something illegal takes away government control and puts control in the hands of criminals.
Posted by Jonnykelly 2 years ago
Jonnykelly
It is not the government and the taxpayers' responsibility to protect an addict from his or her own poor choices. Giving clean needles encourages drug abuse.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
Using unclean or sharing injecting drug equipment is one of the most efficient ways of transmitting HIV.
Reusing a needle or syringe is not the only risk; sharing other injecting equipment such as filters and water containers can also transmit HIV. Although HIV does not generally survive well outside the body, it can survive for long periods of time (over 28 days) if hermetically sealed in syringe.
Posted by StaticG64 2 years ago
StaticG64
No, needles are bad.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
hstancilBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
hstancilBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
hstancilBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, with a strong case by con.