Needle exchange programs increase drug use, Noff writes:
executive director of the Life Education Center 20
Noffs is the Founder and Executive Director of the Life Education Center, USA., headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois. July 2009
When first introduced in Amsterdam
in 1984, and shortly thereafter at various sites in Europe and the United States
, needle exchange programs were viewed as an
emergency response to both the HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C
. Although promoters claim that needle exchange programs do not encourage drug use,
been a major increase in heroin use since needle exchange programs have become widespread. Heroin use by American teens has
doubled in the past 5 years
Dr. Lucy Sullivan of the Australian Centre for Independent Studies states that
hepatitis prevalence among intravenous drug users is
65%, suggesting that free needles are not having their intended effect of preventing exchange of body fluids
Sullivan also states that
is no sign of an impact on the rate of decline (of HIV incidence rates) with the introduction of needle distribution
in 1992." (Sullivan, 1997).
Syringe Exchange is ineffective because of its policy confusion when being implemented
Termination of an Established Needle-Exchange: A Study of Claims and Their Impact
Robert S. Broadhead, Yaël van Hulst and Douglas D. Heckathorn
, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 48-66
When the news media questioned the senior needle-exchanger about the exchanges return rate of 88 percent, he claimed that state
policy allowed for such a return rate, and that a one-for-one exchange was not required. When contacted, state officials claimed
otherwise and vowed to work with the program to reach a 100 percent return rate. This made the exchange appear to be operating
not only in violation of state policy, but also confused about what the policy was in the first place.
, the parent agency's
director admitted publicly that the exchange had "fallen short of the mark," and that "we're making an executive decision to go for a
percent exchange rate"
This embarrassment for the needle-exchange, and the promise to improve itself, simply fueled
the self-righteous indignation of its critics.
Syringe Exchange Programs increase injection drug users by making needles and syringes more readily available
"Needle Exchange: Executive Summary; The Impact of HIV Disease on Injection Practices."
AEGiS Site Map
. Web. 30 June 2010. <http://www.aegis.com/law/journals/1993/HKFNE005.html>.
Opponents of needle exchange, including some law enforcement, drug treatment, and church officials, have argued that easing
access will undermine the "war on drugs," both symbolically and practically, by giving rise to new ranks of injection drug users.23