Pubdate: Tue, 19 Sep 2006
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2006 Record Searchlight - The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Tim Hearden
Bookmark: (Hepatitis)
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


Shasta County supervisors voted 4-1 this morning to start a 
needle-exchange program along with an education campaign against 
illegal drug use.

The majority agreed with the Department of Public Health, which 
argued the program would curb the spread of hepatitis and HIV and 
give the county an opportunity to offer help to addicts.

"I think on the whole this proposal is a very reasoned approach which 
balances the concerns in the community," Supervisor Mark Cibula said.

Supervisor Linda Hartman dissented, saying she agreed with the 
education campaign but not the needle exchange. She said public 
officials should "send a clear message" that illegal drug use is wrong.

"Something I've learned as a mother is there are some things (on 
which) you cannot waver, and one of those is illegal drugs," Hartman said.

As part of the plan, the county will train a community health 
advocate to be a substance abuse counselor, who would refer drug 
users to treatment.

The proposal came after the board in June rejected a syringe-exchange 
plan that would have also allowed pharmacies to sell up to 10 needles 
without a prescription.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman