Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jul 2005
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Section: Editorials
Page: B8
Copyright: 2005 The Sacramento Bee
Note: Does not publish letters from outside its circulation area.
Author: Bruce Burdick
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)


Re "Leaders split on needle access," July 20: Philadelphia has experience 
in offering clean syringes to IV drug users (IDUs). Offering clean syringes 
is a bridge to treatment. Approximately 1,500 IDUs have entered drug 
treatment programs.

Based on more than eight years of follow-up in Baltimore's ALIVE study of 
IDUs, HIV incidence decreased 35 percent after the opening of the needle 
exchange program.

Arrest patterns have been found not to be significantly different in areas 
served by the needle exchange program than in other areas of the city.

There was a significant drop in the number of dirty needles in the areas 
around the needle exchange programs compared to other areas with heavy drug 
users because the IDUs exchange their dirty needles for clean ones.

SB 1159 will give instructions on how to dispose of dirty needles, or have 
containers for their disposal. SB 1159 will be evaluated in 2010. 
Sacramento County should join Los Angeles and implement SB 1159.

- - Bruce Burdick, Carmichael
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