Friday, May 7, 2010

Paying Addicts for Sterilization

Sorry for the long silence on ye ole blog, but i've actually been focusing on my dissertation for a change.

But this just in for those of you who think there isn't an element of social control to drug treatment. reported this frightening tidbit:

The highly controversial Project Prevention, a North Carolina charity that gives cash payments to drug addicts who undergo sterilization or start on long-term birth control, is receiving a similar mixed reception as it expands into the United Kingdom.
Time magazine reported April 17 that Project Prevention founder Barbara Harris decided to form a U.K. chapter after 400 e-mails of support followed her appearance on a BBC Radio 4 program in February. The organization, which relies largely on private donations to subsidize its $300 payments to addicts, received $20,000 from an anonymous supporter to launch its U.K. effort.
Sigh.  Her goal of reducing the number of drug-exposed infants is a good one, but, really...  sterilization?  And can we talk about the ethics of offering $300 incentives to addicts?  Gah.

1 comment:

  1. if someone doesn't think there's an "element of social control" to drug treatment, they have to be a complete idiot. the whole point of drug treatment is to control people's behavior (or to help them help themselves!).

    this sterilization business is truly frightening. but, if we insist on these "genetic predisposition" theories of addiction, sterilization starts to make scary sense. to go back to your previous post, genetic and medical theories don't mean we're going to control drug users in kinder and gentler ways. perhaps, as project prevention suggests, it will in even more insidious ways.