Needle Exchange Programmes

Studies have found that cities with needle exchange programmes , show an increase in blood borne diseases, an increase in the number of new young intravenous drug users, an increase in drug dealing, and an increase in crime. There is the continued habit of sharing needles, unprotected and “risky sex” continues unabated, and ‘shooting up triples the death risk’ with approximately 80% of all addicts dying from an overdose—-not AIDS. Less than half of all needles being distributed by existing NEPs are ever returned .

“Government supplying an implement to anyone to inject a highly addictive controlled substance that is potentially lethal, is a form of assisted suicide. The fact that overdosing kills more intravenous drug users (80%) than any blood borne disease is a a real sticking point that should have all of us supporting education, prevention, early intervention and treatment for addicts not a weapon to commit suicide” said Geraldine Mullins from Western Australia.

Sources: Pulse Checks: Trends in Drug Abuse, January 2004, Dr. Fred Paynes; Evidence Based Review of Needle Exchange Programs; the study by DAWN; the study by the New York Academy of Medicine reviewing Baltimore’s Needle Exchange Program, August 19, 2004;

Filed under: HIV/Injecting-Drug-Users :

Back to top of page

Powered by WordPress