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Editor:

I recently found a Facebook page opposing the proposed Hudson Falls syringe exchange program. The page was full of misleading posts, so I decided to begin counter arguments. Based upon my 10 years of experience in the human service field and having worked for the agency proposing the program, I felt I would share factual information and strong counter arguments.

After commenting on several of the posts and advocating for the program as well as for universal drug legalization, I found myself blocked from the group. I went into keyboard warrior mode and created a counter page to promote awareness. My page was up for 12 hours and had 10 likes, but it seems to have made an impact. Last night I saw the page opposing the program had been taken down. I am both pleased and saddened by this at the same time. I am pleased that a source of false and misleading information has been taken down, but I am saddened because this is an example of how so many are unwilling to even listen to an opposing viewpoint. Social decisions cannot be made based on emotional responses rooted in stigma and negative stereotypes. They should be based on facts and research.

I can take one thing away from this with confidence. Even people with the firmest position cannot argue with facts, especially when others are watching. I never found out who the admin of that page was, and I do apologize for the hard time I gave them. I hope you are out there considering some of the information I tried to share, and hope to talk to you again soon. I don’t want to convince anyone of anything, but I do want to arm them with the sources to make an informed opinion. Thank you all.

Eric Gaynair, Hudson Falls

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