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US: City wants to give out thousands more 'clean' needles to drug users - Baltimore Sun

Found: Tue Apr 17 14:07:05 2018 PDT
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2018 The Baltimore Sun Company
Webpage: [translate]

topical analysis
prison was NOT mentioned
propaganda analysis

City wants to give out thousands more 'clean' needles to drug users - Baltimore Sun City wants to give out thousands more 'clean' needles to drug users - Baltimore Sun

News Maryland Politics

Baltimore wants to give out thousands more needles to drug users

Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun

Hoping to curb the spread of HIV, Baltimore officials want to hand out thousands more needles to drug addicts than Maryland law now allows.

Since 1994, city Health Department vans that work with addicts have traded clean syringes for used ones in a one-for-one exchange, currently distributing 500,000 needles a year. City officials say that system hasn't stopped enough heroin addicts from sharing or reusing needles and spreading disease.

So the Rawlings-Blake administration is asking the General Assembly to pass legislation allowing the city to distribute as many syringes as an addict needs -- no strings attached -- as is done in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Vancouver. That means 500,000 to 1 million more needles a year would be given out.

"Baltimore continues to have a problem with HIV infection," said Baltimore's health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "We're concerned about hepatitis C infections. This is an opportunity to decrease those rates."

There are about 14,000 people in Baltimore with a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS, about 2 percent of the population. The city's Needle Exchange Program, now in its 20th year, provides syringes to about 2,500 people annually.

City officials say the program has been successful. In 1992, 53 percent of Baltimore's HIV-positive population contracted the virus through intravenous drug use, according to the Health Department. That dropped to 17 percent by 2009 and 12 percent by 2012.

Barbot said Baltimore's one-for-one needle exchange program results in addicts using clean syringes about 42 percent of the time. But she said programs in cities that distribute needles "as needed" get them to use clean syringes about 61 percent of the time.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake calls the requested legislation "common sense" and says it's one of the most important bills she's pushing in Annapolis this year.

"There will be less exposure to dirty needles," the mayor said. "Cities that have gone to a needs-based exchange have seen AIDS reduced."

If the legislation is approved, the budget for distributing needles would need to be increased from about $35,000 to $55,000, officials said.

Not everyone sees the move as a good idea. Mike Gimbel, an independent consultant who formerly headed Baltimore County's Office of Substance Abuse, said he believes that having more clean needles would encourage addicts to keep using drugs. He said used syringes could be sold or proliferate as litter on city streets.

"I don't want to see more needles on the street," Gimbel said. "The needle to a heroin addict is gold, especially a new needle that's sharp. They'll sell them to other addicts."

Gimbel said he contracted hepatitis C from injecting heroin as a teenager 40 years ago and is undergoing treatment for the infection.

"I've never been a fan of needle exchange," he said. "I don't believe that harm-reduction programs convince addicts to get help. Addicts don't usually stop until they reach a level of pain. The reason I stopped is I was afraid I was going to die."

State Sen. Verna Jones, who heads the city's Senate delegation, said she won't support the bill without changes. She says the number of needles distributed should be capped.

"It shouldn't be a syringe on demand," she said. "There should be a ceiling on it."

But Del. Curt Anderson, chairman of the city's House delegation, supports the mayor's proposal, pointing to evidence that the city's needle-exchange program has been successful.

"One of the reasons why it was initially set at one-to-one is we wanted to get the bill passed, and we were going to face conservative opposition if we were just giving out a ton of free needles," he said. "We won't face as much opposition now because the program works."

Anderson recalled how Dr. Maxie T. Collier, a former city health commissioner and early supporter of needle exchanges, "predicted an epidemic of the AIDS virus hitting Baltimore, like a Third World country."

"That never happened," Anderson said. "The fact that it didn't makes me think we've done well."

Barbot said addicts in Baltimore say they now use needles two to four times before turning them in to the Health Department. She said city officials would still require addicts to turn in the old needles in their possession and that it's highly unlikely that offering more clean needles would create drug users.

"The reality is, we don't get clients who come in starting to look at using drugs," she said. "While Baltimore was one of the first cities to institute a syringe exchange, it's one of the last major cities to change to a needs-based exchange."

The mayor's legislative initiatives for the 2014 General Assembly include several bills she says will help fight crime and encourage development.

She wants the Assembly to prevent individuals with outstanding criminal arrest warrants -- there are 38,000 such outstanding warrants in Baltimore -- from receiving a state income tax refund. Rawlings-Blake wants legislation empowering judges to track "gang-related" crimes in hopes of helping prosecutors gain tougher sentences for repeat, violent criminals.

She is also asking that the state consider increased penalties for illegal dumping and for assaults on traffic enforcement officers -- there were 19 such assaults last year -- and extend tax credits that she believes help attract and retain city residents.

"We've got a good track record of getting bills passed, and we're pretty judicious in deciding what bills we put forward," Rawlings-Blake said.

Due to incorrect information provided by the city, this story has been updated from an earlier version.

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* Drug Trafficking

* Public Officials

analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:55 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:0 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:5 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? NO - the issue of prison or incarceration was NOT mentioned in this article .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:25 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:12 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:0 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:11 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:3 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:4 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

harm reduction illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme1 propaganda theme2 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 propaganda theme4 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
propaganda_theme1 : drug war propaganda theme: hated groupshated group

propaganda theme1
[news] [concept]

"drug users" "users" "drug addicts" "addict" "addicts"25Hated Groups (propaganda theme 1)
America's Racist Drug laws
Labeling theory
Transfer (propaganda)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 95%
[news] [concept]

"violent" "drug overdoses" "overdoses" "overdose" "crime" "crimes" "criminal" "criminals" "deaths" "problem" "disease"12Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
 use is abuse

use is abuse
[news] [concept]

"Substance Abuse" "drug abuse" "drug users" "drug use" "using drugs" "Abuse"11Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4)
propaganda_theme4 : drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gatewaygateway, use is abuse

propaganda theme4
[news] [concept]

use is abuse Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5
[news] [concept]

"teenager"3Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
Think of the children
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 90%
[news] [concept]

"epidemic" "fight against drug" "assaults"4Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of Wars on Concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

various illegal drugs narcotic  
 drugs 95%
[news] [concept]
various drugs  
 harm reduction
[news] [concept]
"harm-reduction" syringe
Distortion 4: Harm Reduction
 needle exchange

syringe exchange
[news] [concept]

"Needle Exchange" "needle-exchange" "needle exchanges" "syringe exchange"
 psychoactive chemical

[news] [concept]

heroin opiate
 euphoric depressant
[news] [concept]
heroin opiate  
[news] [concept]
heroin opiate  
[news] [concept]
opiate Managing Pain
opiate : a substance derived from the opium poppyopiate
[news] [concept]
heroin Managing Pain
[news] [concept]
Managing Pain
 various drugs 95%
[news] [concept]
"drug" "drugs"13 
 various illegal drugs
[news] [concept]
"drug users" "Drug Trafficking" "intravenous drug use" "drug abuse" "prescription drug abuse" "drug overdoses"
DEA's Drugs of Abuse booklet
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"officials"7Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)

st:0 fo:0 s:0 d:0 c:0 db:0.164 a:0.42 m:0.29 t:1.18 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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    article tags


    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    youth concept
    various_illegal_drugs concept - general terms for illegal drugs
    various_drugs concept - general terms for drugs
    heroin concept - heroin, heroine, diamorphine
    opiate concept - a substance derived from the opium poppy
    narcotic concept - a drug that dulls senses, relieves pain, induces sleep
    analgesic concept
    euphoric_depressant concept
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    syringe_exchange concept - program to reduce disease by making clean syringes available to injecting drug users in exchange for used syringes
    harm_reduction concept - harm reduction
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme4 concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gateway
    use_is_abuse concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    propaganda_theme1 concept - drug war propaganda theme: hated groups
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition