Needle Exchange Research Paper

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10% of HIV cases reported from 2008-2011 were caused from the injection of drugs (Substance Abuse/Use). The reason is simple; sharing needles are a very effective way of transmitting HIV. Globally, this is due to the fact that these needles are not cleaned after use or these needles are used repeatedly. The very first needle exchange program was introduced in Amsterdam in 1984. In the beginning, it was directed by a drug-user organization, but soon the Municipal Health Department of Amsterdam adopted it (Atrathdee, Steffanie A., and David Vlahov). After this, many countries began developing their own programs and created places where drug users could get sterile needles. Soon, people around the world questioned this approach by asking such…show more content…
“Studies show needle exchange programs have led to 30% decrease in HIV infection, and an 80% decrease in risky sexual behavior”(Cattelle, Brian). With the needle exchange program, the goal is to stop the spread of shared needles and diseases. On top of this, drug users that do have needle exchange programs nearby have an increased likelihood of attending addiction treatment or drug rehab. The number of discarded syringes around streets can be reduced to a fraction of the current amount. These programs in some areas even provide them with shelter and drop in space to get the drug users off the streets. The programs also offer harm reduction psychotherapy for mentally ill drug users (Anderson, Kenneth). Amsterdam at one point had the worst drug-associated HIV epidemics and is one of the world’s highest rates of injection drug use. Today, however, it has virtually eliminated HIV thanks to the needle exchange program (Knox, Richard). Forty-eight states have authorized needle exchange programs and as of 2012, they can be found in almost thirty-five states (Brian). Based on these statistics and findings they do stop the spread of HIV through needles where they have needle exchange programs, but it also helps the lives of drug addicts by offering them mental health and even in some cases, offering a place to…show more content…
These fail is that they don’t always save lives and still cause drug-related deaths. These addicts may not be prone to HIV anymore, but are still prone to death, overdose, collapsed veins and violence (Aaron, Lawrence). Communities that do have these exchange programs see an increase in drug users that can sometimes bring down communities. Some also argue that these programs produce more drug use and a spike in drug related deaths (Firshein, Janet). The United States is actually the only country worldwide that prohibits the use of federal funds that go towards needle exchange programs. Outside of the US, there are 126 countries that report HIV transmission from the use of needles and of those countries, 86 have introduced a needle exchange program (Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSPs) for HIV Prevention."). If all countries that reported HIV transmission from needles introduced needle exchange programs, then HIV would continue to go down. Needle exchange programs have their downsides and its highly due to the fact that many people believe that it increases drug use, destroys communities where they are at, and doesn’t actually fix the drug issue, focusing primarily on stopping HIV from

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