Heroin safety

bullet image This is disturbing. ‘Anthrax heroin’ cases spreading

Health officials believe contaminated heroin – thought to be responsible for cases of anthrax in Glasgow – may be circulating elsewhere in Scotland.

It comes after the death of two more drug users with the infection in Glasgow and Tayside.

Just as with the fentanyl spiked heroin deaths in the U.S., these are sad, but clear reminders that legalization is needed to reduce harm. In a legal, regulated market, such a thing would be unlikely to happen. But no, we turn the safety controls of drugs over to criminals.

[H/T Jack Shafer]

bullet image Nice job by LEAP getting a punch in after the recent criticism by the DEA of the New York City pamphlet on harm reduction for heroin use.

group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who fought in the “war on drugs” and witnessed its failures is pushing back against the DEA for its criticism of a New York City-funded booklet that encourages heroin users to adopt safer practices. The group, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), points out that the booklet is intended to prevent overdose deaths and help reverse the high rate of disease transmission related to injection drug use.

“While we all want to stop addiction to dangerous drugs like heroin, the fact is that some people do choose to use despite the billions of dollars we spend on the failed ‘war on drugs,'” said Norm Stamper, a speaker for LEAP and Seattle’s retired chief of police. “Providing users with tips on how to keep themselves as safe as possible and reduce the spread of disease makes us all safer and cuts down on public health and criminal justice expenses elsewhere. The booklet is like a vaccine that helps reduce some of the harm related to heroin abuse. Who could be against that?”

Anthony Papa also has a response at Alternet.

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6 Responses to Heroin safety

  1. Freedom says:

    It just discusts me…!
    Here these good people are reaching out to people who need HELP! and we have federal officials trying to smack them down…for what! Being human and trying to help their fellow man? What is wrong with this world we are living in!? You do something to help those in need and try reduce harms associated with their problem and you get those who try tell you its wrong to help..its wrong to try do good for HUMAN BEINGS! What we should just treat them like dirt ..lock them up…let them die?

    This world makes me sick everyday! Just once I would like to wake without having to yell at my monitor or TV! Yes i have to yell at my monitor/Tv…if I went into the street yelling..Id be hauled away as a terrorists or something.

    Thanks America!

  2. kaptinemo says:

    If you’re in the insurance business, you need casualties to justify your existence. If you’re in the drug prohibition business, you also need casualties, for the same reasons.

    Ghoulish? Of course. But in the case of the latter group, they do ‘feed’ off of the death and destruction caused by drug prohibition. So, ‘ghouls’ is an apt description.

    So…of course they don’t want intravenous drug users to practice safer injection methods. Gives them less photo-ops for them to be seen standing over a prostrate corpse with a needle in its’ arm and pontificate about how ‘bad’ illegal drugs are and how much the prohibs are needed.

  3. claygooding says:

    Our government is really a very big business,and it is run by executives with business degrees,the same as any other industry. Emotion and caring has absolutely nothing to do with the way they run it. The bottom line is the cash,and whatever it takes to keep their budgets growing,never decreasing.
    With the prohibition,they created the problem,they created a bureaucracy to fix the problem and now they tell us if they will redouble their efforts(more funding)that they can control drugs.
    We have spent more than a trillion dollars since Nixon
    declared war on the American citizens and there are more drugs available than ever. There are more people doing drugs than ever and the prisons are running over
    at the seams,so much so that county jails all over the country are “holding” convicted prisoners until a bed empties out in their prisons so they can be moved into
    Where are the bean counters? If these people worked in the private sector they would all be job hunting.Their efficiency and effectiveness are not justification for their pay.
    And America is starting to realize it. They are also starting to realize that the only people that benefit from their policies is them and the industrialized prisons and jails. There are other satellite industries
    such as drug testing that reap millions from their policy,but the ONDCP and it’s allies in the federal government are a major drain on America’s resources that is completely useless and ineffective.

  4. Voletear says:

    The obvious question in the anthrax case is this: “Is a prohibition/reactionary crazie deliberately tainting street heroin with anthrax to kill drug users?”

    I’m no conspiracy-theorist but you’ll never convince me that AIDS and HCV didn’t come out of military germ warfare research in a scenario such as the above. I know; I’m crazy. But homosexuals and IV drug users at the same time with different virus?

    I know one thing: They’re capable of it.

  5. aussidawg says:

    Freedom, I couldn’t agree with you more. It seems as though I recall Bu$h denying ER’s additional supplies of Narcan back when the fentanyl tainted heroin problem was occuring. His apparent reasoning was that to provide emergency rooms with Narcan to prevent overdose deaths would be encouraging drug use. So the rationale was it’s better to let people die so as to discourage drug use? Mighty “Christian” of him.

  6. BruceM says:

    Conceding drugs are dangerous and conceding that we want to stop addiction to those drugs is no way to go about ending prohibition.

    The only reason any drug is dangerous is because it’s sold on the black market and thus impure, of unknown quantity, concentration, and content… and the fact that people are not educated about how to use drugs properly.

    With proper instruction and pure non-black market OTC drugs bought at Walmart, heroin use is far safer than skydiving or basejumping.

    Stop making these concessions. Drugs are PERFECTLY safe and a wonderful way to spend one’s recreational time. Recreational drug use should be encouraged and enjoyed. We should hope that lots of people use drugs, just like any other product. Higher drug use will create more tax revenue, more jobs, and make the DOW go up – which is the only thing that really matters in America.

    No more careless concessions starting now. The new year is a perfect time to make such resolutions.

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