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“Clean Needles Benefit Society” v. “Programs Don’t Make Sense” Essay (Article Review)

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2022

The spread of HIV among groups of drug addicts has reached unprecedented levels and is a problem that requires immediate attention. More than ten years ago, the government established a needle exchange program where basically any drug user could get free clean needles in exchange for the used ones. In his article Clean Needles Benefit Society, an author from The USA Today argues that such programs prove to be useful and decrease the scale of HIV epidemics. At the same time, Peter B. Jemma Jr. in his article Programs Don’t Make Sense opposes this view saying that such programs are a waste of taxpayers’ money.

While Jemma does use an eloquent comparison of such programs to a free giveaway of car tires to those who exceed speed limits, the arguments used in the first article are more convincing and well-grounded, and better supported by various statistics and examples.

There are two main arguments that the author of Clean Needles Benefit Society puts forward: the needle exchange programs prove effective, and these programs require more funding from the government.

Among the supporting statements that prove the effectiveness of the programs, the author uses statistics that show that in the cities where the program was adopted, the spread of HIV has significantly decreased, and increasing numbers of drug users choose clean needles. At the same time, the author also points out that no data has been obtained that could prove the increase in drug abuse as a consequence of such programs.

In order to substantiate the need for more funding, the author additionally points out that free needles cost our taxpayers much less than HIV treatment of those who might get infected because of needle sharing. Thus, the programs not only prove effective but also save us money, although they might seem costly without proper consideration of details.

Peter B. Jemma Junior also has two arguments to oppose the first point of view. First, he states that through funding of needle exchange programs, the government sponsors the growth of substance abuse. Then, he also points out that since such programs do not help the drug addicts to get cured, and only prolong their suffering, they are completely worthless.

The author indicates that it is wrong to facilitate behavior that negatively affects society and population health. He also suggests that although no data has been obtained on whether the programs actually encourage drug abuse it is evident that such programs will lead to negative consequences.

The only piece of statistics used by the author to support he argues that in the state of Connecticut the demand for clean free needles increased four times since the start of the programs, and this, in his view, indicates that drug abuse due to the needle exchange is growing.

In the first article, however, the same statistics were used to show that drug addicts now make healthier choices by preferring to find a clean needle. Thus it is unclear whether these statistics indicate the growth of drug abuse.

Therefore, it is clear that the article entitled Clean Needles Benefit Society is more effective and convincing in its arguments and argument support to prove that the needle exchange programs are indeed working, and thus require additional governmental funding.

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IvyPanda. (2022, June 6). "Clean Needles Benefit Society" v. "Programs Don’t Make Sense". https://ivypanda.com/essays/clean-needles-benefit-society-a-review-of-articles-main-points/

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IvyPanda. (2022, June 6). "Clean Needles Benefit Society" v. "Programs Don’t Make Sense". Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/clean-needles-benefit-society-a-review-of-articles-main-points/

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"Clean Needles Benefit Society" v. "Programs Don’t Make Sense." IvyPanda, 6 June 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/clean-needles-benefit-society-a-review-of-articles-main-points/.

1. IvyPanda. "Clean Needles Benefit Society" v. "Programs Don’t Make Sense." June 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/clean-needles-benefit-society-a-review-of-articles-main-points/.


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IvyPanda. "Clean Needles Benefit Society" v. "Programs Don’t Make Sense." June 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/clean-needles-benefit-society-a-review-of-articles-main-points/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "Clean Needles Benefit Society" v. "Programs Don’t Make Sense." June 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/clean-needles-benefit-society-a-review-of-articles-main-points/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) '"Clean Needles Benefit Society" v. "Programs Don’t Make Sense"'. 6 June.

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