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Government Sponsored Needle Exchange Asks Much - Offers Little
Still Missing the Point
Recent media articles have raised a number of important issues concerning the efficacy and public health benefits of needle exchange. But while we seem to be in general agreement that access to clean syringes reduces the health risks to intravenous drug users, we seem to be ignoring the fatal flaw in the new county exchange model. By attaching the slogan “Don’t Shoot – Don’t Share” to their program, the county is simultaneously advocating for rehabilitation without adding one single new treatment program or option. This message is ill considered in the extreme. I agree with many in our community who believe that we must find a way to make rehab more available and affordable. But extolling the benefits of clean living without any real prospect of treatment tells me only one thing about the County Health Services Agency:
They are still completely missing the point.
Steve Pleich Santa Cruz