Giving heroine addicts clean needles and free heroine has been a controversial topic in Vancouver. Supplying drug addicts with the means to use clean needles for free in a controlled environment has been proven to reduce the spread of disease. Although the reduction of disease transmission has been a positive outcome in this program there are still people worried about the increase of drug users because of this specific program. Between 1991 and 1997 this proved to not be the case. Seven different programs were studied in the United States and found that the programs were working the way they were designed to. They all prevented disease transmission to some degree and the use of drugs among people did not increase.
While battling drug addiction, drug addicts have little say over how the drug will affect their body and overall health. It is universally known that drugs, especially heroine, are extremely deteriorating to the body and often cause overdose, disease transmission, and in many cases eventual death. Providing clean needles prevents a great deal of deaths that come from using dirty needles. The spreading of disease has gone down a great deal. Although this cannot stop overall drug use it can keep drug users a little more safe until they decide they are ready to go to rehab.
HIV is an incredibly dangerous disease that is often spread through the use of sharing a needle with someone. In many cases the person may not know that they are infected with HIV and spread it to others. One or both parties could know about the presence of HIV and still want so badly to do drugs that they use a dirty needle because it’s their only option available. These organizations and programs all around the world are literally saving people from contracting HIV and possibly AIDS. There have been no proven studies that show the clean needle exchange programs are doing more harm than good.
In 1997 the National Institutes of Health declared that “individuals in areas with needle exchange programs have an increased likelihood of entering drug treatment programs.” This means that people who use the program have a better chance of recovery and over coming addiction. The clean needle exchange program not only prevents disease but also makes the chances of a drug addict seeking help even greater.