Debra J. Saunders

The Daily Telegraph in Australia has reported that MSIC referrals for drug treatment and rehabilitation services fell from 10 percent in 2001 to 1 percent this year. A selling point for the MSIC had been that the centre would work to steer users away from drugs.

Supporters point to a reduction in heroin overdoses -- but that's because Australia experienced a dramatic heroin drought starting in 2001.

Which points to the misguided focus of the harm-reduction movement: Its goal is to minimize harm for the most risky and self-destructive behavior, which is impossible, so programs keep evolving to accommodate anti-social dysfunctional behavior.

So San Francisco expanded one-on-one needle exchanges until the exchange element is gone. Users can go to an SF needle "exchange" and receive free needles without providing dirty ones. They can get free needles, despite the fact that, thanks to a new state law, they now can buy syringes at Walgreens.

It's not enough that the state passed a law that allows San Francisco pharmacies to sell syringes. It's not enough that users can exchange dirty needles for clean ones. The do-good mentality transformed needle "exchanges" in order to spare addicts from having to pay for clean needles -- which go for about $3 for 10 needles, according to Homeless Youth Alliance Chairman Peter Davidson -- at a drugstore.

This is not a treadmill of good intentions leading nowhere. It is a spiral of decay slowly unraveling.

Debra J. Saunders

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