The Pros And Cons Of Needle Exchange Programs

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Needle exchange programs are a type of harm reduction initiative used in different parts of the world to combat HIV transmission. These programs provide injection drug users (IDUs) with clean needles and syringes (AVERT, 2015). These programs are run by pharmacies or other drug services, and can be either fixed or mobile sites (CDC, 2010). Besides aiming to reduce the transmission of HIV, these programs also provide advice on safe drug injection, how to minimize harm by drugs and overdose, how to safely handle injection equipment, and provide access to treatment if the person wishes. There are at least 90 countries that have implemented these programs, located in various areas such as the United States, Australia, Asia, Europe, Latin America,…show more content…
Supports believe that these programs can reduce transmission and encourage substance abusers to seek treatment (Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 2015). Some needle exchange programs help people find the road to recovery. Drug users find it easier to enter rehabilitation centers through the help of these programs because of both the trusting relationships the build with the people at the programs, and the fact that the programs know the rehabilitation system well and can find them a good program. China’s programs have been successful at reducing HIV transmission rates. A study took a sample of 42 counties in China, examining people who did participate in these programs, and people who chose not to participate. They discovered that participation in these programs was associated with lower rates of transmission among IDUs (Wei et al., 2015). Harm reduction interventions, like needle exchange programs, show promise of being an effective way to reduce drug-related transmission (Koo et al.,…show more content…
The rise of HIV cases in certain parts of the United States has caused some policymakers to re-evaluate the benefits of these programs. In Indiana, there is a rise in poverty and employment, and a rise in the number of HIV cases. Since these programs have been proven to be effective at reducing HIV transmission, The Harm Reduction Coalition encouraged governor Mike Pence to issue an emergency 30-day needle exchange program (Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 2015). Although their current plan is to have this program for only 30 days, it does show that politicians are realizing the importance of these

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