Accepting-for the sake of argument-our current legal policies concerning heroin use and its users, what ethical questions are raised for needle and syringe program (NSPs)? Do they weaken drug laws, send the wrong message or obscure the right message, do little to eliminate the harm of drugs, detract from alternatives, and/or constitute a counsel of despair? I suggest that in the absence of established better alternatives, NSPs constitute a morally acceptable and in some cases even desirable option despite the continued criminalization of injecting drug use. Yet they must be conceived and administered in ways that do not reinforce prevailing social prejudices.
|Title of host publication||Ethical challenges for intervening in drug use|
|Subtitle of host publication||Policy, research and treatment issues|
|Editors||John Kleinig, Stanley Einstein|
|Place of Publication||Huntsville, USA|
|Publisher||Office of International Criminal Justice Press|
|Number of pages||12|
|ISBN (Print)||0942511654, 9780942511673|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
Kleinig, J. (2006). Thinking ethically about needle and syringe programs. In J. Kleinig, & S. Einstein (Eds.), Ethical challenges for intervening in drug use: Policy, research and treatment issues (Vol. 5, pp. 121-132).  Office of International Criminal Justice Press.