Oklahoma Legalized Drug Needle Exchanges
If the War on Drugs has taught us anything, it's a battle that cannot be won. No threat of punishment or restriction of freedom can apparently compare to ride on a white tiger or a trip on the balls as they say. It's basic risk/reward behavior, and it's not always up to the individual whether they can quit or not. It's just not that simple. We humans don't all have the ideal self-control that some do, and as more and more drugs infiltrate suburban America, even the deepest red state in the nation is trying something new to curb the trend of discovering the wrong kind of black tar in rural Oklahoma. Instead of arrests, Gov Stitt signed into law a bill now allowing private organizations to offer clean needle exchanges (where a drug user can trade their used syringes for clean, unused needles) and offer help with counseling and rehab to those with the proverbial monkey on their back.
"But how is it helping if they're giving them clean needles to continue using drugs?"
Like I said, Oklahoma is trying something new. If you search the internet trying to find what the effect of these programs are, odds are you'll easily find a study to back up whatever your initial thought was in reading this. Half say the programs are bad, the other half say they are good. To tell you the truth, it's probably next to impossible to find a truly impartial study on the matter, and we'll just have to see how it works in our own state.
Are crime rates going to go up? Well, it's hard to say. You can probably bet the media will see this as a captivating talking point so they'll be sure to report on as much of it as possible... but will the crime numbers actually rise? Eh, I can't find concrete evidence of it.
Will disease rates plummet among drug users? It's also hard to say. Those most supportive of these programs will shed as much light on it as possible, make it sound like a tremendous success because they have skin in the game... but at the end of the day, users who are craving that next slap of the donkey probably aren't going to make a logical decision to ensure safety and cleanliness either.
The two big questions that remain are, will it work or will it fail? The answers aren't so forthcoming as bias inundates everything you can find on the matter. I just know one thing, Oklahoma has got to curb it's private prison problem one way or another.