Social Question

RareDenver's avatar

Should drug addicts be paid to get sterilised?

Asked by RareDenver (13090 points ) February 20th, 2010

Project Prevention offers cash incentives to women that are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol to use long-term or permanent birth control.

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121 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Only if you are offering the same thing to men drug addicts.

Steve_A's avatar

So they are basically saying don’t have a kid your a drug addict? But rather than rehab or professional help we are going to give you cash??

RareDenver's avatar

@marinelife through the program 1,226 women have so far been permanently sterilised and 35 men have had vasectomies.

cheebdragon's avatar

I support the needle exchange program, but paying drug addicts is a crap idea. They better have some damn good lawyers for the people who get off drugs and say that they didn’t understand what they were giving up because they were so high.

AstroChuck's avatar

Who draws the line on what’s considered drug addiction and what isn’t? Is an alcoholic included? What about those addicted to prescription drugs? What about mental addictions to cannabis? This just sounds silly to me.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Wow. Just.. Wow.

Women who are pregnant shouldn’t use drugs. That is not equivalent to ‘women who use drugs should not become pregnant’.

What’s next, ‘poor women shouldn’t have children’?

ChaosCross's avatar

Nope, they will just take drugs to make moneys

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I do not agree with this intervention – it targets women who are already marginalized, probably poor and in poor health…this is society’s way of showing who is thought as worthy of figuring out their life and having children and who isn’t…and I’ll bet that most of these women are people of color.

laureth's avatar

This reminds me of those programs that take food earmarked for distribution to the needy in third-world countries and give it only to women who agree to be sterilized. Not such a happy thing.

Jeruba's avatar

Addicts come from all walks of life. You can be just as messed up coming from wealth and privilege as from the ghetto and just as broke when you run away or your family cuts you off.

Getting women to use birth control so they won’t get pregnant while addicted is one thing and seems wise; taking away the option forever is quite another. That would imply an assumption that they will never be clean and sober. But people can change. People can recover. They may also make very poor decisions while they are still using. Taking advantage of a state of powerlessness and a perpetual need for cash to impose a permanent and irreversible life choice seems wrong to me. Rather, the prospect of a future normal life can be an incentive to stay sober.

Steve_A's avatar

They should be focused on getting these people help,recovery,group meeting,rehab, professional help even if possible, in my opinion.

I think it is a good idea to encourage safe sex and help prevent them from having kids for the time being but permanently seems to be on the extreme side of things and I personally disagree with.

I agree with @ChaosCross drug or any addict for that matter will more than likely go and buy/pursue more of there addiction whatever it may be.

What really scares me is what this organization is saying without saying it, is we think a drug addict or addict in general should never bring children into the world. And to do so we will take advantage of there current problem, state of mind, physical being,and offer them cash and have them permanently sterilized.Really to me that seems like borderline or possibly is discrimination.

In the end you would just have a woman who can not have a child, still has a problem and was actually probably enabled more by giving her money, and from the article it says $300 and to most addicts it will just be a way to fuel their addiction.

@Jeruba Has excellent points, I agree.

drhat77's avatar

I can’t believe this is legal. It is illegal to buy and sell organs for money for this very reason – poor people would incentivized to do something very permanent.

laureth's avatar

…and a person who, since they can’t get pregnant, might not be as careful about using condoms…

galileogirl's avatar

This could never be an official policy, but if some reactionary, racist (they aren’t going after the middle class white alcoholic), sexist (look at the statistics) group wanted to do it because of their perverted “values”, why not offer $35 and a quarterly shot, rather than a $20,000 hysterectomy? I guess Fascists aren’t very bright. Maybe they shouldn’t breed either!

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Sterilization is a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem.
They should be able to function just as every other law abiding member of society does and that includes the potential to raise a family.

That includes the right to vote but only once they are out of prison if they are convicted criminals.

Siblinings's avatar

The Wright stuff?

knitfroggy's avatar

I can kind of see both sides of it. While it seems terrible, and it probably is, think about a child that may be born addicted to drugs.

I think the money would be better put to use getting these people off drugs instead.

wundayatta's avatar

So, let’s say it’s a choice between a life of prostitution in order to support a drug habit, or being paid to be sterilized to support the drug habit. Then what would you choose?

I am reluctant to tinker with a market based on ideas of morality. Prostitution is illegal but that doesn’t seem to stop it from happening. I believe that a number of drug addicts end up using prostitution to support their habits. I guess I’d rather see them being paid to avoid pregnancy than be on the streets to support their habits.

the100thmonkey's avatar

$300 would last them what.. a week? After that, they’re back on the streets, albeit unable to conceive.

JONESGH's avatar

This is just sad.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Jeruba What a terrific answer! You’re a fluther treasure!

This narrow-minded approach to social engineering is not only misguided but is chillingly Orwellian.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Why waste the money that way? Just lock them up, if they have no self-control then it is time the state do, they do it for everyone else who can’t comtrol themselves. They are not only dangerous to their kids (born and unborn) they are to the general population.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Not all addicts are convicts. We can’t go around sterilizing Rx addicts.
And what happens if the addict gets clean? It’s not the state’s place to decide who can and cannot reproduce because that’s not a right given by the state.

galileogirl's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Take a deep breath and think about what you said. Incarceration as a prophylactic, that makes economic sense to you, Skeezicks? You must work for AIG!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

galileogirl It goes to more than just a prophylactic, a prophylactic don’t break into my car and steal my stereo, it also won’t plow into my car driving high. As much as they are a danger to their children they can be a danger to everyone else’s children as well. Why people see them as less dangerous than a sex offender is a mystery. Most will never kick the habit. We don’t give sex offenders 2 whacks at harming a child even if they were just a peeping Tom, so what makes junkies and addics any different?

laureth's avatar

Lock them up where? Prisons are overcrowded already. Funds are so short that they’re releasing nonviolent offenders in some places. @Hypocrisy_Central, are you in favor of a huge tax hike to build the scads of new prisons it would take to put away everyone who smokes a joint now and then?

galileogirl's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central That was a real BOING!! answer. Boing being the sound made as your answer ricochets off every surface instead of hitting the target. The drug addict was’t the prophylactic, prison was the prophlactic. Do you want all thieves and bad drivers to be sterilized (the topic of this question) or just the drug addicted ones?

Unfortunately we do give sex offenders several whacks (poor choice of words on your part) before we put them in jail but we never sterilize them. drug addicted or not.

In future try focus and clarity.

Ria777's avatar

a million times yes. you may say “oh, but would a woman in that condition have the foresight to make the right decision? exactly. they don’t have the foresight. therefore they don’t have the foresight to properly take care of a child.

Ria777's avatar

@Steve_A: So they are basically saying don’t have a kid your a drug addict? But rather than rehab or professional help we are going to give you cash??

false dichotomy.

Ria777's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: Why waste the money that way? Just lock them up

if they commit crimes then they’ll get locked up anyway. if you locked them up simply for their addictions you’d end up more thoroughly wasting already marginal lives.

Steve_A's avatar

@Ria777 What would you suggest about it?

Ria777's avatar

@Steve_A: what would I suggest about what?

edited to add: pay them money to get sterilized and have available to them the government help as mentioned above. if they want to have it.

faye's avatar

Think about the poor children, often born with mental and physical difficulties. I don’t know the answer but a way to not have children that then spend a life of misery themselves would be well worth it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Well… seeing how a similar plan to get farmers to NOT produce excess crops worked SO well… !!!!

Ria777's avatar

@Jeruba: Getting women to use birth control so they won’t get pregnant while addicted is one thing and seems wise; taking away the option forever is quite another.

the women themselves would choose (or “choose”) to take away the option to give birth forever.

That would imply an assumption that they will never be clean and sober. But people can change. People can recover. They may also make very poor decisions while they are still using.

again, the addicts themselves get to decide (or “decide”). women don’t have an infinite time to have children anyway. to repeat what I said before, yes of course they make make poor decisions. poor decisions like not using a condom or not using birth control and really poor decisions towards the children that they might have.

Ria777's avatar

@the100thmonkey: $300 would last them what.. a week? After that, they’re back on the streets, albeit unable to conceive.

and they’ll never give birth to a child whose life who would then have to grow up with a addicted mother.

Ria777's avatar

also, guys, three words: fetal alcohol syndrome. (I don’t know if opiates mess up kids in vitrio.)

faye's avatar

alcohol is not drugs like on the streets

stemnyjones's avatar

Umm. I’m a drug addict whose been clean for a year and two months, and I have a daughter, a baby girl born 4 months ago. We are doing just fine. So no, I don’t think that’s a good idea, unless they offer it to the general public. That’s just discrimination.

That’s like paying people with disabilities to be sterilized.

Ria777's avatar

@stemnyjones: I’m a drug addict whose been clean for a year and two months, and I have a daughter, a baby girl born 4 months ago. We are doing just fine.

by your own account, though, you conceived your daughter after you quit drugs. so your doing fine doesn’t have any relevance to this matter.

anyway, congrats for having made a better life for yourself.

people with disabilities need not pass on their disabilities to their kids. if they had some inheritable condition that would affect their children’s lives I actually would offer them money to have kids.

oh, and I would offer this opportunity to everyone, like you said.

laureth's avatar

@Ria777 – with all due respect, I read @stemnyjones’ answer as meaning something like, “And if I’d done this, I never would have had my beautiful girl, who, by the way, doesn’t have to grow up with an addicted mom.” I could be wrong, though.

stemnyjones's avatar

@laureth Got the point.

galileogirl's avatar

“people with disabilities need not pass on their disabilities to their kids” Is that a whiff of Nazism in the air. The great majority of births that result in disabilities are not predictible, you idiots!

Steve_A's avatar

@Ria777 So basically your saying it is their choice regardless? If thats the case then what is your point?

Ria777's avatar

@laureth, @stemnyjones: I actually missed the point.

the addicts who would have the self-control and foresight to pass up the $300, though, I think would have a better chance of going sober. because of the aforementioned self-control and foresight.

Ria777's avatar

@Steve_A: your reply confused me. I don’t have enough context to know what you mean.

Jeruba's avatar

@Ria777, how about combining some posts instead of making a separate post for every little thought? You have up to ten minutes to add to a post you’ve already made.

stemnyjones's avatar

In way, by you saying “Most of them will never get clean anyway” is like saying we should just put all german shepherds to sleep, because “most of them will just bite someone anyway”. This is discrimination at its worst. I know more addicts who got clean and stayed clean than addicts who never got clean, or even that got clean and relapsed. I’d like to see where you get your numbers, because I think it’d be pretty hard to get statistics like that.

And even if I didn’t know firsthand that this is a rude, insensitive program that is run by people who don’t understand the disease of addiction, I still wouldn’t agree – because it wouldn’t help any addict. Anyone far enough into their addiction will make the mistake of getting an irreversible surgery for money, only to go off and continue doing drugs.

And @Ria777, when we are in our addictions we don’t have self-control and forsight.. which is why it’s hard for us to quit. But addiction is a disease that can be overcome. If you don’t see it this way, then you don’t know enough about addiction to even contribute a relevant arguement to this debate.

faye's avatar

@Jeruba I find saying ‘every little thought’ kind of rude.

nikipedia's avatar

As long as the program is voluntary, I support it. I don’t think having kids is an especially good idea for most people. It seems to be an especially bad idea for drug addicts.

And while it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, the unfortunate fact is that addiction is notoriously difficult to treat. Full recovery from addiction is sadly pretty rare.

Jeruba's avatar

Every little one-liner. Every small remark. Every individual particular comment.

faye's avatar

I like it. I’m bored and it lets me flick more.

stemnyjones's avatar

@nikipedia I agree that most people shouldn’t be having kids anyway… so kudos on that. But while addition is very hard to treat, the prospect of one day starting anew and having a family has brought many addicts to find sobriety. I feel like taking that away from them would give some addicts no reason to get clean.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh God, @stemnyjones You made a priceless typo! But while addition is very hard to treat, ,,, Oh please don’t fix it!

Wow! The idea of treating addition. I don’t know how to begin. Perhaps a Doctor of Math could help? Would you need polynomial functions? The mind boggles.

Ria777's avatar

@stemnyjones: I never said “most of them will never get clean anyway”. never said it.

I do believe discrimination has its place. we all do it. now I don’t believe in it based on superficial things, but I don’t think that current drug addicts make as good fathers or mothers, usually, than sober ones. sorry.

gets even worse if you consider the effect of a child raised in an addictive household having an addiction of their own own and having kids themselves.

this doesn’t have to do with saving the addicts’ lives. it has to do with ensuring that they don’t create tragedies. and, no, not every child raised in an addict’s household ends up a tragedy. c’mon, though… it doesn’t help.

I really do know enough about addiction to know that an addict won’t regard a $300 the same way as another, but… I have sufficiently covered my reasoning elsewhere in this thread.

laureth's avatar

@wundayatta – it would seem that this whole thread is about the idea of paying people to treat addition.

faye's avatar

What about the kids?? My daughter works in a group home for kids 8–14 and most of them have drug addicted parents.

stemnyjones's avatar

@wundayatta Haha, that is pretty priceless.

@Ria777 I agree that addicts currently amidst their addiction shouldn’t have kids. I don’t agree that the choice should be taken from them permanently. They should offer free condoms rather than free surgery. Wait, it’s not free surgery, it’s surgery that they are getting paid to have. So, pay them to use condoms and spermicide.

stemnyjones's avatar

@faye What about the millions of kids abused and abandoned by parents who aren’t addicted to drugs? You know, people who were abused as children are much more likely to abuse their kids than those who weren’t. Maybe we should sterilize everyone who was abused as a kid. That would solve our overpopulation problem.

wundayatta's avatar

@laureth Groan. Double Groan. If I could give you 20 lurve, I would! LOL!

Ria777's avatar

@stemnyjones: hey, I like the idea of giving away free condoms too. paying to use them, though, that wouldn’t work. you’d have to take their word for it.

Steve_A's avatar

I guess I misunderstood the question, I thought they had meant more do you agree or whats your position with the program or “Should drug addicts be paid to get sterilized?” and to that I still no, and I have said why already.

Long-term thats fine, permanently no and by paying cash to these addicts no. I think they should change their approach and methods.

You are right it is there choice, but I am thinking in the very moment some addict walking out of her mind and instead of offering any real help to the person they are just throwing money to them for an option that will change their life forever.

If this ends in a disagreement,then so be it, this where I stand on it.I give respect to your answers though. :)

faye's avatar

Because this thread is about drug use, so I’m talking about drug use. A neighbor’s daughter had 5 kids by 23. I think family convinced her to be sterilized. Her mom pays a nanny to care for the kids, they live with grandma, and this girl is back living with her ‘boyfriend’ doing drugs again.

Ria777's avatar

@stemnyjones: Maybe we should sterilize everyone who was abused as a kid. That would solve our overpopulation problem.

my brother and sister and I did get abused as kids. that experience informs my opinions on this matter, a lot. because I know what bad parenting can do.

Ria777's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna: I don’t have a problem with eugenics. (obviously, or wouldn’t have taken the position on this matter that I have.)

@Steve_A: You are right it is there choice,

“their” choice, not “there” choice. let me explain, by the way, why I put decide and choose in quotes: I don’t know if the concept of decision or choice has any validity under any circumstances whatsoever.

but I am thinking in the very moment some addict walking out of her mind and instead of offering any real help to the person they are just throwing money to them for an option that will change their life forever.

as I have said at least once in this thread, it doesn’t preclude giving them help. this has to do with the next generation (and the generations after). as well, I want to point out as another poster did that this program does not solely apply to women.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@Ria777 & @faye * shrugs * If, after reading extensively on the subject, you still feel that way, then so be it. We aren’t intelligent enough to know which features we would want to breed for, anyway. Regardless, good day.

faye's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna They are trying to stop drug addicted people from having babies, any babies, with any kind of feature.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@faye: How do you know that child won’t be the next Stephen Hawkings or Albert Einstein? Besides, with the elevated rates of suicide, abuse, neglect, malnutrition, crime, and disease associated with the whole drug scene, modern natural selection will likely do much of the job for you anyway.

Ria777's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna: your second point ignores the fact that while a person may have a short lifespan, they can still have kids.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@Ria777: Granted, but those children will be disadvantaged in many ways, and so will their children. It wouldn’t be as immediate as sterilizing every addict in the country, but in the long term, it would tell. Also, if any of those children have redeeming qualities that help them succeed in spite of these disadvantages, then those children would have the opportunity to pass on those qualities, whether they be social or genetic. Sterilization removes that possibility altogether.

lillycoyote's avatar

Drug addicts should be provided with treatment for their addiction. The money would be better spent providing treatment for addicts, for a lot of reasons, but the most important reason might be because many addicts already have children and the addict, and more importantly, the children, would be much better off, at least in my opinion, with a clean and sober, non-addicted fertile parent than they would be with an addicted sterile parent.

faye's avatar

An addicted sterile parent is not going to have a bunch of childen around-ring the bell.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ria777 why don’t you have the foresight to realize that a drug addict isn’t always a drug addict and should have children later on?

gottamakeart's avatar

The concept sounds logical: The addict can be free to self-destruct or whatever, just don’t drag a new life into it. (and some procedures can be reversed if the addict ever gets clean and wants to start a family.)

It would be a better world if more fore-thought went into reproduction anyhow. Its too easy to just drop seed and mess up more lives.

Ria777's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: puttin’ words in my mouth. as I stated upthread, I don’t believe that drug addicts always stay drug addicts.

@lillycoyote: again, this doesn’t preclude treatment. once, again, I have said more at least once before in this thread.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ria777 so why should we sterilize them?

faye's avatar

If you read the interview in the post, a good portion of the women offered sterilization have already had numerous children. It’s not their first crack at motherhood.

Ria777's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: would you want a hard drinkin’ alcoholic babysitting your kids? sure, she might get sober in a couple of years. then again, she might not, but would you want her to babysit tonight?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ria777 I don’t let anyone babysit my kids so that’s irrelevant but this situation is not comparable because they’re not having the baby right now, yet are being sterilized for possible babies later
@faye so that’s it, then? I’ve had 2 children as well, does that mean you can sterilize me?

Ria777's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: this situation is not comparable because they’re they’re not having the baby right now, yet are being sterilized for possible babies later

so you’d rather the state offered pregnant mothers $300 to have an abortion? (this program applies to men, too, but that obviously wouldn’t apply in this case.) it has to do with foresight.

faye's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir These women had children while in the drug scene, had them taken away until they cleaned up, which many didn’t but they still had more babies they gave up. And the numbers can be 10, 12 babies (from the same mom) in mental and physical hell because their mothers took dope. I think they should opp for the sterilization, yes. Read the sory in the question.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ria777 there are other answers and sterilization, to me, seems to be like someone above said a permanent solution for a temporary situation…and drug addicts aren’t walking around pregnant…abortion may not be what they need (and yes I will take abortion over sterilization, if necessary)...other help is necessary.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Ria777 O.K. Bottom line: Coerced sterilization, in my opinion, is simply, plainly, morally and ethically wrong. Just plain wrong. And offering to pay vulnerable people, drug addicts, people who by virtue of being drug addicts have already shown that they are not capable of making good, sound judgements, rational judgements, is a form of coercion. It’s not a solution to much of anything. It would be better to put our energies, as a society and the energies of our medical, mentall and public health professionals to work on a really solution. What do you propose we offer middle and upper class addicts to persuade them to get sterilized? A thousand dollars might be more than enough to get a street addict on board but what’s to be done addicts like Rush Limbaugh for example? With nice middle class soccer moms and Little League dad’s whose dirty little secret just happens to be that they are addicted to tranquilizers or to prescription opiates like pain killers or sleeping pills? It’s not a solution to the problem and it’s just plain wrong.

mattbrowne's avatar

A doctor should diagnose the level of addiction. Severe addictions are a disease and the patients need help. A public health plan should provide free contraceptives and free prescriptions for hard drugs like heroin. No permanent sterilization of course. If people manage to become clean they might wish to have a child.

Ria777's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: a permanent solution for a temporary situation

imagine the effect of growing up up with a drug-addicted parents. that sounds pretty permanent to me.

Ria777's avatar

@lillycoyote: And offering to pay vulnerable people, drug addicts, people who by virtue of being drug addicts have already shown that they are not capable of making good, sound judgements, rational judgements, is a form of coercion.

(emphasis added.)

so on the one hand, they don’t have the wherewithall to make choices as regarding $300. contrariwise, they do have the wherewithall to a) not manage to have unplanned pregnancies, b) take care of children if they do.

What do you propose we offer middle and upper class addicts to persuade them to get sterilized?

of course.

Ria777's avatar

@lillycoyote: as for the rest of your post… you say that that amount of money would not suffice to entice middle-class drug abusers into getting sterilized. I agree, it wouldn’t. so you consider that justification for not having the program at all.

that to me reads like you would sacrifice children’s lives for the sake of class equality. you might as well say that the children of rich people should not have the right to have expensive cancer treatments, because not everyone can afford them.

I do recognize that as a problem, but I say give the maximum amount of money to all addicts.

(and, as I said above, make the same offer to anyone. cash for sterilization. for everyone.)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ria777 no child should have to, I agree, I’m with you but a drug addict should be offered other services rather than paid money (because that’s the way to deal with a vulnerable population) to get them sterilized.

Ria777's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: yeah, they’ll blow the $300 on getting loaded. for sure. so, not so good short-term consequences. long-term consequences? more than make up for it. if you want to talk about a vulnerable population, think of the children that they would otherwise have had.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ria777 just like with any mother v. child dichotomy, I will side with the living person, not the hypothetical one – but if I wanted to go there with you, I will think of the children – the healthy children they would never have the chance to have.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Ria777 I don’t consider any program that is directed to poor addicts and ignores middle class and wealthy addicts to be fair or to be a solution to anything at all. It isn’t a real solution to the problem if it is only directed at a fraction of the people for whom we are trying to find a solution. And there are already programs in place to protect children who are at risk because their parents, for whatever reason, neglect them, abuse them or otherwise care for them. The system isn’t perfect but our energies might better be spent shoring up the Family Services and Child Protective Services system in the U.S. The idea of sterilizing addicts, and these programs are almost always directed at poor, street addicts, is a distraction and make people feel as though they are somehow protecting children against addicted parents. Again, addiction is a problem that crosses social, political and economic barriers. If you care about the children that “they” otherwise would have had, then you would better serve those children by first of all understanding who “they” are. A large percentage of “addicts” aren’t on the street, addicted to illegal drugs, getting in your face and making you feel sorry for their children. That’s a dangerous illusion, a dangerous misconception, that leads well meaning people to look for solutions like this, “solutions” that really do very little to help children or addicts, but make people feel as though something is being done,
IM, please forgive me, NSHO.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir <<Tweet, tweet, tweet!>> (whistle blows) As interesting as the back and forth between you and Ria777 but you can’t use “the healthy children they would never have the chance to have” because that drifts from the original argument. It isn’t like healthy children are not being snuffed out before they are born now. There is a lot of children who never get the chance to run and play now, not because their moms are addicts or anything like that, simply because their mothers don’t want to be round bellied when Spring Break hits, don’t want to give up clubbing and drinks, or don’t care to put that college education on hold. :-)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Ria777 “if they commit crimes then they’ll get locked up anyway.” Correct, and while they are locked up they won’t be squirting out children unless the guard is boinking them. Then they have a chance to reflect and straighten up so when they get out they can have their kids and family if they choose, and if they choose the dupe, they will be back in the slammer for a longer time and any kid they do have will get raised by someone else. Maybe that will clear out the stupidity from their noggin.

Ria777's avatar

@lillycoyote: A large percentage of “addicts” aren’t on the street, addicted to illegal drugs, getting in your face and making you feel sorry for their children.

guy, you keep on failing the telepathy test. I assumed nothing of the sort! I only have the farfetched assumption that perhaps drug addicts (by which I include alcoholics) do not make the best of parents. cripes. my mom had a life-in alcoholic boyfriend for a while there. (he managed to hold down a job and everything.) (actually, in all truth, I consider his drinking more of a symptom than the problem.)

Ria777's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: just like with any mother v. child dichotomy, I will side with the living person, not the hypothetical one – but if I wanted to go there with you, I will think of the children – the healthy children they would never have the chance to have.

you say you want to deal with the actual person and not hypothetical ones. okay, but you know you have placed faith in one person’s hypothetical future as a former addict who would make a fine parent.

whereas in the present, they still do drugs and may or may not even get clean or may or may or not die in the near future.

I think (and correct me on this if I have it wrong, of course) that even if you knew with absolutely 100% certainty that they would have children while still addicted that you would still have a problem with this program. that it has more to do this offending your values than whatever ultimate effect that this would or wouldn’t have on the world.

Ria777's avatar

@lillycoyote: I don’t consider any program that is directed to poor addicts and ignores middle class and wealthy addicts to be fair or to be a solution to anything at all.

so if you can’t get something perfect then not have it at all. so you’d rather have more messed up kids unleashed on the world because at least that way we have parity. (I already addressed this above. maybe even to one of your previous posts.) by “real solution” or “any solution at all” you mean a program run exactly the way that you want and damn the consequences!

And there are already programs in place to protect children who are at risk because their parents, for whatever reason, neglect them, abuse them or otherwise care for them.

yeah, because it doesn’t take that much to deal with emotional scars.

The system isn’t perfect but our energies might better be spent shoring up the Family Services and Child Protective Services system in the U.S.

well, see, you say you can live an imperfect system, but just earlier you said you couldn’t. you consider one kind of imperfect system “not real” and yours okay. I never said do away with family services. I do think that a program like this would complement and ultimately do a lot more good, honestly.

if you want to take care of a problem you want to get to very earliest stage that you can to root it out… very earliest stage here: the birth of an unwanted child. short of zapping out the hurt qualities of the potential parents (which you can never do, but you can ensure with a fair bit of exactitude that they won’t have kids), I can’t see what you can do.

The idea of sterilizing addicts, and these programs are almost always directed at poor, street addicts, is a distraction and make people feel as though they are somehow protecting children against addicted parents.

well think of every parents sell child for a hundred bucks horror story you ever read. how do you think that happened?

the100thmonkey's avatar

Actually, on reflection, we should probably sterilise everyone on this thread (myself included) as well as the addicts and the poor – perhaps mass sterilisation would solve the problem of overpopulation.

galileogirl's avatar

@the100thmonkey Nature has already taken care of that for me, but you step right up.

stemnyjones's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Don’t talk about addicts like we’re idiots. We have a problem, but we are far from stupid.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stemnyjones Hardly but foolish acts are still foolish acts. Clinton, Edwards, Tiger they all cheated a foolish act just because they claim sex addiction don’t make it any less foolish, if you think so talk to Hillary. If you can show me how getting involved with something you know will leave you unable to maintain self-control is a wise choice I am all ears to hear that.

stemnyjones's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Most of us get into drugs when we are kids or teenagers, when peer pressure is the thing causing us to start – foolish or not, even kids who grow up to be smarter than most of us still sometimes fall under peer pressure or curiosity. And once we start, it’s not like out of stupidity we aren’t stopping – we can’t stop. I didn’t know I was going to have no self-control over drugs – if I did, obviously I wouldn’t have started. I thought I had it all under control. You need to learn about addiction before you try to even present an arguement into this conversation. I try to ignore all of your closed-minded bullshit about homosexuality, your views on marriage, etc, but I will not sit here and listen to you being a tight-assed douche about something that is a real, legitimate problem that is not anyone’s fault, including the one with the problem.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

stemnyjones “*Most of us get into drugs when we are kids or teenagers, when peer pressure is the thing causing us to start – foolish or not, even kids who grow up to be smarter than most of us still sometimes fall under peer pressure or curiosity.” 1st off I am going to give you more credit than to use that argument because when you add it all up it is pretty weak. While I was growing up through Jr. High and high school many people had crazy ideals of what to do that was exciting or fun. I knew which ones were safe, which ones were illegal, and which ones were down right dangerous. To say “I did it because all the rest did it*” I guess all those guys who raped that student in Richmond, CA. can claim they did nothing wrong or it wasn’t their fault because everyone else was raping her and they had to go along, toss in the fact she willingly drank booze with them they can make her in part at fault and convince themselves they should not get chucked through the meat grinder. A foolish act is still foolish no matter if one person does it or 3,000.

“*I didn’t know I was going to have no self-control over drugs – if I did, obviously I wouldn’t have started.*” And I am also going to give you credit as to having heard of or seen what happens when people get hooked on stuff; I am assuming you did not grow up in a sheltered bubble. Losing control is part of the appeal isn’t it? After all if it was the same as drinking water with no mind altering effect what was the point of taking it unless it was prescribed for some medical condition?

“*You need to learn about addiction before you try to even present an arguement into this conversation.*” I know about that, quite well, have people with problems in the family. I can learn all about car crashes but if it don’t provide the means to avoid the crash by driving safely from the start what good did it do? The thing is not to get addicted by playing around with it in the 1st place.

“*I try to ignore all of your closed-minded bullshit about homosexuality, your views on marriage, etc, but I will not sit here and listen to you being a tight-assed douche about something that is a real, legitimate problem that is not anyone’s fault, including the one with the problem.*” Ooooo…..truth must have struck a hard nerve out comes the insults. If I have BS homosexuals I sure would like to see that pointed out with crystal clarity in the questions it was involved in, but that is another road than this one. So if a bunch of teens get the ideal to play Russian roulette because one watch the Deer Hunter and one blows out his brains it was no one’s fault. Surely they never thought a bullet in a loaded gun would go off at their head. Or maybe they watched Fast and the Furious and thought racing through traffic would be exciting, after all it looked exciting and in the movie no one ever crashed or was hurt bad if they did, so if they clean the clock of the old woman coming from bingo in her “69 Ford Falcon it was no one’s fault, they surely had no ideal how dangerous it could be or that cars at high speed can lose control; beside everyone was racing and they had to do it too.

If you get involved with something, drugs, gangs, crime, you take ownership of it. Pottery Shop Rule; you broke it, you pay for it. No one is a toss out person not even addicts. They did not make a wise choice unless you think they did but they were the ones who made it, no one had a gun to their head or knife to their throat. And if they can’t make wise choices then to help them get their life back on track maybe the State has to do it for them.

Ria777's avatar

@stemnyjones: if you want to look at the time in a person’s life where they make the most unwise choices, you can usually zero in on childhood or adolescence when a person’s brain has not even fully developed.

yes, your POV on responsibility has more worth, personal and societal, than the one which absolves people of their actions entirely. at the same time, your contempt for people who make bad choices so far in the other direction that it works against the points you want to convey.

you take pleasure in antagonizing people here (so do I, to an extent, though I recognize that I do and do what I can to mediate it). the world has enough pain, though, without adding to it. though you may admire your scathing wit, your emotional immaturity undermines it a lot, so you end up a poor advertisement for your own ideas. (again, I notice the same fault in myself.)

chrisj46's avatar

To me its fine as long as both males and females can participate and it is not mandatory unless the person is a sex offender, rapest, prostitute,robber, owns a gun, etc.

laureth's avatar

“Owns a gun”? Gun owners should be sterilized? whoa.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

First they came for the Jews.

If you allow any group of people to be persecuted, it opens the door for everyone else.

Ria777's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna: this particular form of persecution, as you call it, doesn’t mandate anything.

stemnyjones's avatar

@Ria777 Erm, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Yes, I get touchy, because it is a sensitive subject for me, as it hits VERY close to home. I’m basically being told that I should be paid to get sterilized, because my children will be neglected; meanwhile, I have a very happy baby who is FAR from neglected sleeping in her bassinet right now.

I don’t have contempt for people who make bad choices. Did you miss the part where I said I am a drug addict? I do not hate myself, I simply admit that I am human and made mistakes, and learned from them. What I hate is people who have no idea what the hell they are talking about trying to make an argument on the subject. Unless you are a drug addict, have a degree in psychology, counsel drug addicts, or have any other first hand experience with drug addicts AND recovery, then you can’t tell me that drug addiction isn’t a disease. And no one with a disease should be punished for it.

And no, I don’t take pleasure antagonizing people on here. I could care less about insulting you people; I have a real life, with a real family and a real baby, I don’t think about any of you people unless I’m sitting here typing. As I said, I just get emotional about shit that is personal to my life, and people don’t understand and therefore make ignorant judgments about.

@Hypocrisy_Central tl;dr

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@Everyone:

Dick Cheney, Mel Gibson, Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., Ben Affleck, Michael Jackson, Rush Limbaugh, Johnny Cash, Britney Spears, Elton John, Billy Bob Thornton, Drew Barrymore, Dick Van Dyke, Kiefer Sutherland, Colin Farrell, Buzz Aldrin, Prince Harry, Truman Capote, Martin Lawrence, Courtney Love, Whitney Houston, Jerry Garcia, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonard Nimoy (Yes, Spock), Eddie Van Halen, Billy Holiday, Lindsay Lohan, Christian Slater, Alice Cooper, Demi Moore, David Bowie, O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, Joe Louis, Lawrence Taylor, Dennis Rodman, Representative Mark Foley, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Patrick Swayze, Ted Kennedy, Anna Nicole Smith, Ozzy Osbourne, and Richard Dreyfuss.

What do all of these people have in common?

They have all been in the news for being in rehab for addiction. Yes, even Spock and Dick Cheney. And that is just a short list. There are hundreds of celebrities who could be added to it and god only knows how many hundreds of thousands of the nameless rich as well.

Lets look at the problem. Drug addiction disables you from being a competent human being. Period. Even if all your basic skills remain intact at first, your priorities are reorganized to feed your addiction first and foremost.

Sterilization removes the responsibilities of parenthood from the addict rather than treating the addict’s addiction. However, the concept that all addicts should be sterilized would never make it into law, so instead the alternative of offering addicts payment to be voluntarily sterilized is offered. There are several problems with this. First of all, you are using the addicts’ own addiction to manipulate them into signing away their fertility. If and when addicts clean themselves up, class-action suits would be inevitable as many would claim they weren’t mentally competent adults to make life altering decisions when consumed with addiction. Secondly, the whole concept of payment depends on the assumption that the addict would need or even want the money. As the list above showed, many addicts have no need of any payment and thus no need to accept the sterilization to support their habit.

All of the above is not even addressing the fact that neglectful parenthood is only one issue that results from addiction. Sterilizing an entire group of people is avoiding the real issue. Parents or not, addicts are a destructive force, on their family and friends, on themselves, and on society in general.

Even if they never have children, they’re still someone’s Brother or Sister, Husband or Wife, Son or Daughter; they still have an impact on those around them regardless of whether those around them happen to be their children.

We need to work on preventing and treating addiction, not eliminating addicts as possible parents.

Ria777's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna: Lets look at the problem. Drug addiction disables you from being a competent human being. Period. Even if all your basic skills remain intact at first, your priorities are reorganized to feed your addiction first and foremost.

pretty much the definition of an unfit parent, then.

on the one hand you talk about how addicts make desperate, destructive choices. on the other, you stand up their rights to continue to have children. those two facts do not, to me, go together.

your last paragraph offers a false dichotomy. you can do both these things at the same time.

off-topic: Buzz Aldrin went to rehab?! I had no idea.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

Pretty much the definition of an unfit EVERYTHING. Fixing the parent bit is only fixing one thing. You’re still left with a bunch of addicts. Spend that time and money and resources on preventing and treating the addiction instead of bribing addicts to get sterilized. If you address the addiction, you address all the other issues stemming from it simultaneously.

Off-topic: Yes, Buzz Aldrin went to rehab.

Ria777's avatar

I’ll just quote from the site FAQ:

http://www.projectprevention.org/faq/#b

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

http://www.projectprevention.org/faq/#c

Immediately under it, it says, and I quote, “Project Prevention targets a behavior not a racial demographic.”. If it targets a behavior, what about those hundreds of thousands who don’t need the money, what’s targeting their behavior?

Alright, we’re obviously not going to agree on this topic, but I’ll leave you with a very simple point that, although, you may not agree with, you may find you can understand.

A sterile addict is still an addict. We all still have a problem.

Take Care @Ria777.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

No… But I think they might like to get paid to get sober? And it’s just crazy enough, that it might just work. *Drug addiction is predominately symptomatic of poverty and mental illness.

Ria777's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna: your response has a couple of logical fallacies.

logical fallacy number one, known as the excluded middle: A sterile addict is still an addict. We all still have a problem.

we will still have a problem, sure, though less of one than with the worst case scenario, namely a) still an addict and b) still capable of mothering or fathering a child.

logical fallacy number two: the program cannot afford to pay more wealthy addicts, so therefore, in fairness to everyone, chuck the program.

again, the excluded middle (or some related logical fallacy I can’t think to name). either the program takes care of everyone, regardless of income level, like it has that kind of money, or no one.

Ria777's avatar

@GabrielsLamb: you have mistaken this for an either/or proposition. either help the addict get sober or help them not have a kid. in the real world you don’t have that kind of zero sum game. the addict can try to get help and get sterilized I don’t see the contradiction.

though I do question the proposition at paying a drug addict to get sober just like I would a gambler to get sober. I mean, on a regular basis, not a one time only bribe to get sterilized.

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