Needle Exchange Program
Austyn Bolander, Chelsea Dugger, Catherine Hoover,
Chris Giles, Cassandra Brown, Skiveta Rivera
Indiana University East School of Nursing
Several studies have shown that injection drug users lower their risk of transmitting infectious diseases when there is a needle exchange program available. There has not been a valid study of whether or not the amounts of time needles are returned to the exchange programs are harmful to communities. The Journal of Public Health, conducted surveys, evidence from needle exchange sites, jails, and institutions that needle exchange programs are effective in reducing illnesses such as HIV and AIDS (Burt & Theide, 2016). Furthermore, Reepalu, Blome, Bjork, Widell, & Bjorkman (2012), researched the same individuals for 20 years, with no breaks. Their studies concluded that injection drug use, not only heightens the risk for HIV and AID’s, there is also an increase in Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. However, there studies showed that there is not an increase rate of cancer diagnoses due to injection drug use. In a study conducted by Bonar and Rosenberg (2014), they wanted to see if self-initiated harm strategies, such as: proper needle sterilization techniques, proper disposal of needles, and cleaning of the pre injected skin, could help improve the health of those that use drugs intravenously. Their study was conducted over an eight-month period, results showed that their
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On the other hand, people who are against of needle exchange programs claim that the needle exchange programs don’t save lives but instead it can cause drug-related deaths. Even though NEPs help reduce the transmission of HIV and other diseases, they still encourage people to use more drugs, which could lead to death. Addicts are prone to death, perhaps not from HIV, but from overdosed, collapsed veins, poisoned dope, or the violence and criminality that go along with the illicit drug trade. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are more than 33,000 people who died from drug overdose in 2005. As a result, drug overdose become the second
An increase in drug use, specifically opiates, has overwhelmed the United States. This behavior has led to a rise in the transmission of HIV/Hepatitis C which would be otherwise preventable. The needle exchange programs in Moorhead, Milwaukee, and Scott County are working to lower the transmission rate and increase participation in treatment programs.
Vancouver Injection Drug User Study (VIDUS) is a project that gives a prospective study and has over 1500 IDU 's enlisted to assist since 1996 and gathers data on drug use, health, sexual activity, etc. Some of the topics discussed included: prison culture, availability and price of drugs and equipment, drug use, VIDUS shows that the risk of HIV infection indicated that incarcerated injection drug users were associated with a greater risk of 2.7 times (Small, Kain, Laliberte, Schechter, O 'Shaughnessy & Spittal, 2005).
Imagine that you are the pilot of a plane traveling to a new and exciting destination. Early in the journey the plane takes off and soars high into the sky where you feel like you are on top of the world, looking down from above at all of the beauty underneath you. On the way to your destination you are anxious and full of excitement in anticipation of the new journey that you are about to experience when all of the sudden your plane starts to shake and you find yourself losing control. At this point you have two options: You can try to change course to regain control and make it through the turbulence or you can continue with what you are doing and let the plane spiral to the ground in a firey crash. This scenario is similar to the life
As the number of intravenous drug users continues to rise, so does the risk of dangerous and potentially fatal complications that are associated with illicit drug use. In this population, death rates are higher due to overdose, AIDs-related mortality, and other blood-borne viruses (Mathers et al., 2013). Mortality rates remain high even though precautions have been taken to reduce them. According to Lavender & McCarron (2013), “Mortality in injecting drug users is up to 22 times higher than for the age-adjusted population, despite increased provision of needle and syringe programs, reduced needle and syringe sharing, and higher uptake of hepatitis B vaccination” (p. 511).
Although these clients will still be abusing illegal substances, Sheon (2004) indicated that any reduction of harm is a step in the right direction, and the amount of success is measured by the client’s quality of life and well-being (as cited in Brown et al., 2005). “Harm reduction is about being respectful in somebody else’s world” (Georgina Perry, Service manager and co-author, England as cited in Cusick et al., 2010). By not respecting somebody else’s choices, the clients feel they must lie about their unhealthy lifestyles, which prevents the clients from getting assistance because they were trying to protect themselves from the real situation (Georgina Perry, Service manager and co-author, England as cited in Cusick et al., 2010). A way to reduce the harm from illegal substance abuse is clean needle exchange, and teaching clients how to properly inject themselves (Brown et al., 2005). The needle exchange is a program where clients exchange their used needles for clean ones, which helps reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS (Brown et al., 2005). With continuation of these programs the harm from abusing illegal substances is reduced and the spread of life threatening diseases, such as HIV,
A safe injection site (SIS) has been placed in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where drug use is a challenging problem. The program is a vital piece of the cities known harm reduction approach to its serious problems with homelessness, drugs, crime and AIDS. Canada has drastically shifted its method. Going from punishing drug users to establishing the plan of harm reduction. Since 2003 when the supervised SIS opened, it has presented a safe health-focused center where drug users have access to inject illegal drugs using sterile equipment in a clean environment under the supervision of medically trained professionals. Although there are some serious concerns about the
Imagine for a moment being able to walk down the street without seeing used needles or other drug equipment. Although it will not completely eradicate the problem, safe injection sites will allow users to have a safe and clean environment that they do not have access to now; not just to inject their drugs, but also to dispose of their used syringes. When given a 3-year trial at the first facility in Canada, it was found that fatal overdoses within 500 metres of the facility were reduced by 35 percent, and a 9 percent decrease in the rest of the city (Stueck, 2011). Thus proving the effectiveness of injection facilities not only in Vancouver, but nationwide. Giving access to support can significantly increase the quality of life for intravenous drug users. By providing sterile equipment the
There are many ways in which people who are addicted to intravenous drugs are perceived by our society. People sometimes believe the addicted person is to blame for their circumstance and substance dependence and some feel serious drug addicts are a “lost cause” due to a lack of values or flawed character. “Persons who struggle with addictions often are depicted as criminals or prostitutes, weak, lazy and morally corrupt” (Bartlett, R., Brown, L., Shattell, M., Wright, T., Lewallen, L. (2013). These stereotypes paint people with addiction negatively; a percentage of people who live with serious addiction are capable of recovery with the right attitude, support and healthcare. Street level healthcare services such as; safe injection sites, provide accessable resources at street level for people to make the choice to live healthier lifestyles. Govement funding and support is needed to make these projects possible to improve the health of Canadians. Safe injection sites are proven to be positive contributions to communities, save lives, reduce harm and open doors towards recovery for people from the grip of addiction.
In conclusion, methadone clinics and needle exchange programs have many stigmas linked to them due to the biases that have been associated with these programs in the past. The programs are trying to create ways to encourage more drug users to use the programs available especially the needle exchange program for those who inject
Harm reduction can be defined as an approach that aims to reduce the consequences of high risk behaviours such as injection drug use on the individual and on society as a whole. Harm reduction programs provide injection drug users with access to a clean injection environment, sterile injections, drug-preparation equipment and safe disposal of contaminated material at the time of injection. Staff members in harm reduction facilities provide health teaching, anonymous HIV testing, information on addiction treatment, condoms and assist in connecting clients to social and health services (Semaan et al., 2011; Ball, 2007). Although, the benefits of harm reduction are evident through reduction of accidental drug overdose and prevention of
Imagine living in a world where the government supplied drug addicts with free drugs. This is what is happening with the needle exchange. Needle Exchange Programs allow injecting drug users to trade in dirty needles for clean needles at little to no cost. Using dirty needles, or needles that have already been used, is one of the main causes of HIV and other blood borne illnesses. There have been many studies that show this correlation. There are many problems that make Needle Exchange programs ineffective.
Even though there are already harsh penalties toward those who contain and use illicit drugs, it would not be possible to give them these sentences without their presence. Many legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco have relatively dangerous affects that could lead to death in the same ways illegal substances can, which brings upon the question of why an individual’s well-being would ever be put before the law. INSITE has proven to the world that providing a secure and reliable facility for addicts to inject drugs will not only prevent them from harm and provide safety for the public, but it will also encourage users to seek recovery. Research shows that associations with the safe-injection site has caused a 30 percent increase in rehabilitation programs, and an estimate of $14 million in savings and 1000 HIV preventions through the course of 10 years (Mosher, 2011: 377). With the significant amount of evidence that INSITE has positively impacted toward society and its members, there is no reason not to launch additional safe-injection sites in areas where they are
Opana is utilized to combat long-term chronic pain over a twenty-four hour period, and its magnitude is extremely powerful, yet addictive. Individuals that have become addicted to Opana were shooting up as often as twenty times per day, often sharing needles with one another. Opana is so addictive that the CDC was able to have the experience of speaking with a family that shared one syringe among three generations. Having knowledge about these stories prompted Governor Mike Pence to adjust his beliefs surrounding needle exchange programs. Governor Pence reversed his view in regards to needle exchange programs after realizing the serious magnitude
The townspeople or community might be hesitant to provide assistance for injection drug users. Stigma exists around substance use and abuse especially when it comes to needle-exchange programs. The belief that providing clean needles encourages drug use, rather than discourages needle sharing. Studies done by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) argues that this response can be dangerous since it ignores other studies that demonstrate how clean needle exchange is an effective took for reducing HIV and hepatitis transmission. This program provides support for the inflected. Through access to counselors, treatment options, or education about safer needle use are all provided all from one program (Sosin, 2012). It can also benefit the larger community of drug users or those how suffer from hepatitis. A program in Rhode Island called ENCORE (Education, Needle Exchange, Counseling, Outreach, and Referrals) is designed for outreach to those at-risk individuals who may not otherwise present for prevention,