Charleston, West Virginia (AP)-A West Virginia bill regulating the needle exchange program passed a Republican-controlled parliament on Saturday. Critics say that the stricter requirements for distributing clean syringes limit the number of providers that give clean syringes to users of injectables who cannot completely stop their habits.
Proponents said the law would help opioid addicts connect to medical services to combat substance abuse.
Participants will also need to show proof of identity to obtain a syringe. Republicans who support the bill said the needle exchange program was necessary because it was “functioning irresponsibly” and was causing syringe waste.
However, the new rules will come into effect in one of the country’s highest surges in HIV cases associated with intravenous drug use.
The surge, mainly around Charleston’s capital and Huntington, is due, at least in part, to the 2018 cancellation of the needle exchange program.
City leaders and first responders complained that such a program in Kanauha County led to an increase in needles left in public places and abandoned buildings, which was closed.
Senator Joe Manchin submitted a congressional investigation to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the outbreak of HIV in the county on Monday.
West Virginia Democrats called for an investigation on behalf of the Kanauha County Commission two months after CDC officials warned that the county outbreak was “most concerned in the United States.”
This law requires a license for a syringe collection and distribution program. Operators need to provide a variety of health support services, including overdose prevention education and referrals to substance abuse treatment programs.
Republican Senator Mike Maloney said these “wraparound services” were the most important part of the bill.
Opponents say strict measures on the bill will force the termination of existing exchange programs. Democratic Senator Ron Stollings called it a “knee cramp reaction to stylus.”
Republican Senate Leader Tom Takubo said needle donors can work with other organizations that provide health support services to comply with the proposed law.
Another provision requires that you mark it with a program that passes them to the syringe. Takuho said it could help solve the one-time question of whether the exchange would lead to garbage.
On Friday, the House of Representatives added a clause giving local governments the freedom to prohibit certain groups or providers from setting up needle exchange programs.
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West Virginia Parliamentarians Pass Needle Replacement Control Bill
Source link West Virginia Parliamentarians Pass Needle Replacement Control Bill