Glad city rejected clean needle program

Earlier this month, members of the Alpena Municipal Council rejected a proposed amendment to an ordinance that would have allowed free needles to be passed out in the city.

We agree with the decision, and support those who voted it down.

The request had come from District Health Department No. 4 officials to distribute needles in an attempt to discourage drug users from reusing dirty needles, and thus increase their risk of receiving Hepatitis C and HIV.

We understand the intent, and we agree with their desire to reduce the risk from those diseases.

However, if we agree the long-term solution for those users is to get them off drug use entirely, then the needle distribution only facilitates further use and does little to address the eventual goal.

There are good programs in the region aimed at helping drug abusers address their addiction.

We need to point those suffering from addiction to such programs, rather than distributing to them a clean needle.