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Ariya Kilpatrick's Fundraiser:

Needles That Change Lives

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Ariya Kilpatrick

THE STORY:

I recently read news about Seattle's movement to establish safe needle injection sites. My reaction was 'That's great!'. My reactions would have been dramatically different when I was much younger growing up in a more conservative environment. I would have opposed to the idea out right. But as I learned more about other people and different perspectives, I....had a change of heart. One notion that's prevalently believed by many is that providing a place for heroin users to use drugs encourages them to continue their drug use and may even signal a message to others that it's okay to use drugs; therefore, more people will use drugs. Well.....here are some reasons why I believe having a safe needle injection site will actually be more beneficial for the society at large. 1. Drug users are still people, but many of them are lost and feel they have no hope and no power to change their lives around. This thinking isn't only born out of themselves, but people around them as well. People stay away from them, look down at them, and make them feel as if they are a second class citizen. This treatment re-affirms the helplessness feeling many drug users have and the vicious cycle continues. Potential Result: more drug use to get away from the pain. 2. Drugs users are people who possess skills being labor or advanced. All skills are relevant to the society's development if they are put to use in the right place. These are assets that already exist. They can also receive training to develop new skills or become more proficient. All of these strengths would go to waste if they accidentally overdose and die. A safe needle injection site could help drug users to learn not to do this. Potential Result: being more productive and independent.

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