Pubdate: Thu, 02 Apr 2015
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2015 The Washington Post Company
Author: Bill Piper


Regarding the March 27 Politics & the Nation Digest item "Governor 
authorizes needle exchanges":

With two Midwestern governors - Mike Pence (R) of Indiana and Steve 
Beshear (D) of Kentucky - recently supporting syringe-exchange 
programs in some fashion, it is a good time for Congress to repeal 
the federal ban that prohibits states from using federal prevention 
dollars to make sterile syringes available to reduce the spread of 
HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.

This ban has cost thousands of lives and millions of dollars. 
Repealing it would reduce federal healthcare expenditures and give 
states greater flexibility. Decades of peer-reviewed studies have 
conclusively shown that syringe-exchange programs save lives without 
increasing drug use.

States should be free to use prevention money on these effective 
services if they want.

Bill Piper, Washington The writer is director for national affairs of 
the Drug Policy Alliance.
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