Pubdate: Mon, 20 Mar 2000
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 Canberra Times
Author: Geoff Page
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IT IS depressing to see the simplistic diatribe against harm minimisation
from John E. Miller on behalf of the Australian Christian Coalition (CT,
March 15, p.10).

Like many fundamentalist Christians, he has a simple, binary view of the
world. One is either ' saved' (ie, like him) or not saved. One is either '
drug-free' or ' drug-dependent' . One can either ' just say no' or be left
to ' die in the streets' (it was your own fault anyway).

Unfortunately, the world is more complicated than that as is drug addiction.
Obviously there is a need for a wide range of methods to deal with the
problems caused by illicit (and licit) drug use. These certainly include the
abstinence methods so beloved of Mr Miller, but they also include the
methadone programs, the needle exchanges and the safe injecting rooms to
which he is so opposed.

The ACT methadone program has already saved many lives here in Canberra,
lives which Mr Miller and his ilk are apparently quite happy to throw away.
The needle exchange program has ensured that AIDS spread by injecting drug
users in Australia is at just a fraction of the level now experienced in the
United States, where needle exchanges are banned or severely restricted.

Please let us have no more of Mr Miller's ' final solutions' . They don't
sound very Christian to me.

GEOFF PAGE - Narrabundah
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