Government To Spend $500,000 On Texting Drug Addicts “Gay Lingo”

Government spends half a million texting gay lingo to meth addicts

Even as the Obama administration was using the sequester as an excuse to lock Americans out of the White House, the federal government spending binge continued unabated. reports that, back in February, a federally-funded (i.e., taxpayer-funded) study began to send “gay lingo” text messages to methamphetamine addicts to try to get them to use fewer drugs and more condoms. The cost to taxpayers for this exercise? $509,840!

Heading the project is Dr. Cathy Reback, who works at the Friends Research Institute, Inc., in Baltimore. She told that she and her team hope that, by sending these “gay lingo” text messages out for the next four years, methamphetamine users will clean up their act

“We did a pilot about four, five years ago with with 52 out-of-treatment MSM (males who have sex with males),” Dr. Reback explained. “And we sent them text messages that were gay specific – used gay lingo – and made references to the connection between high-risk sex and methamphetamine use among MSM.”

The current study, she added, will test the effectiveness of using text messages to alter gay meth addicts’ behavior.

“So what I wanted to do with this text messaging intervention was to optimize the opportunity to get these guys [to have safer sex] by sending text messages as opposed to ‘Come into my brick and mortar site that’s ten miles from your house, and come for a group [session].’ I mean – you know – okay maybe!” Dr. Reback explained.

“We have the technology to go beyond these brick-and-mortar interventions where you sit down with a counselor and you sit down in a group. … You know, send them text messages as they’re walking into a bathhouse, or while they’re getting dressed in their home, or on the computer to hook up with somebody.”

government cripples you and hands you a cane and then taxes and regulates the caneDr. Reback refused to show CNSNews any examples of the text messages, whether from the current study or from the earlier, trial study. She did say, though, that the text messages would go out five times a day, and that they will be timed to reach the users when they are most likely to engage in dangerous activity. These times were determined by a focus group.

The 285 study participants will be divided into three groups, all of which will report on their progress using self-evaluation forms. Group One will be able to communicate back and forth with the researchers; Group Two will get text messages, but no two-way communication; and Group Three will be the control group and won’t get any messages at all.

So, there’s the program: five text messages a day, for four years, to 285 study participants who will then report back every week, all for a cost to taxpayers of $509,840, or $1,789 per gay, methamphetamine-addicted man who engages in high risk sexual behaviors.

Dr. Reback believes that figuring out how to limit addiction and high risk sexual behaviors is a worthy endeavor that will save money, and lives, in the long run. She may well be right. However, at a time when our government is drowning in debt, and ordinary people have no jobs, this still seems like a remarkably self-indulgent program for the federal government (i.e., the taxpayers) to fund.


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