Fight The Opioid Epidemic, All Agree. But Strategies Vary Widely

 1 year ago       203 Views

It's no secret why drug users come to George Patterson in a mall parking lot just outside Phoenix to get their clean needles, syringes and other supplies on Tuesday afternoons, instead of heading to the pharmacy down the street.

Patterson asks for no IDs, no signatures and no questions — all of which can dissuade IV drug users from seeking out clean needles or the overdose reversal drug naloxone, Patterson says.

While many states have syringe exchanges, only some have laws that explicitly permit syringe exchanges — and Arizona isn't one of them.

Ducey has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency — a move that a handful of other states have made, too.

Proponents of harm reduction, however, point to research showing that people who use these programs are actually more likely than others to seek treatment.

Despite his lack of faith in needle exchange programs, Montgomery says he is sympathetic to people who are addicted to opioids — he is not out to prosecute drug users when he doesn't have to.

Author: @DailyCupofYoga

Source: npr.org

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