Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
KPBS Examines San Diego County Board Of Supervisors’ Opposition To Needle Exchange Program
KPBS examines the reasons why the San Diego Board of Supervisors will not support the city's needle exchange program, which twice weekly provides clean needles to injection drug users as part of an effort to curb the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases. Dianne Jacob, chair of the board, said, "I think it particularly sends a wrong message to our kids. It sends a message to our kids that as county government, if we gave out clean needles for illegal drug use, that we condone illegal drug use. And we don't. And it's wrong." She said government support should go toward drug use prevention and treatment. Steffanie Strathdee, head of the division of global public health at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, has examined several needle exchange programs across the world, and said, "It hasn't been associated with more people starting drug use at earlier ages, etc., In fact, it's consistently been associated with reductions in high-risk behavior. And so there's really no reason not to support it on a broader scale" (Goldberg, 7/8). This series of articles was supported by a Kaiser Family Foundation mini reporting fellowship.
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