Health education student responds to editorial on drug abuse

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your submission in the new Golden Gate Xpress. I am currently interning for the SF AIDS Foundation’s syringe access services. I am a health education major and a huge proponent of harm reduction services, such as needle exchanges. One of the most stigmatized groups of people are drug users.

People already find it hard to relate to others, particularly when those people use. It’s easy to blame people for their actions, but people fail to see the role of the environment in behavior. Add addiction to the mix, and its easy to see why people may use. We need to stop the moral judging of drug users and ensure that people have access to safe injection supplies — to reduce further harm than the drug itself.  That will come only after we as a society work on our empathy for our fellow human beings.

Jonathan Roberts, Treasurer, Health Education Student Association