Pubdate: Thu, 05 Apr 2001
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2001 Mountain Xpress
Author: Michael J. Harney Jr.
Note: Marty L. Prairie passed away March 15, 2001.
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


In the month of April, [our city's] nationally known harm-reduction
program - the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville (NEPA) - will be
represented at the Tenth Annual North American Syringe Exchange
Convention in Portland, Ore. [visit on the Web]. 

At this gathering, delegates from more than 120 national needle-exchange
and harm-reduction programs, the scientific community, plus
[organizations of] international origins, will impart and report the
latest information related to the impact of needle exchange on
localities. The health-care industry, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and
alcohol/substance-use-and-abuse arenas are only some of the foci.
Beneficial aspects [of such programs], such as linking people to
services and more positive treatment options, are others. 

NEPA continues to seek [ways to] more fully and consistently operate in
a tolerant local community. Realities remain such that intravenous drug
use must be seen in North Carolina as a public-health issue, foremost.
There needs to be more easily accessible and greater treatment on
demand. Messages to your political representatives and state health
administrators can only strengthen their awareness of the importance of
comprehensive harm-reduction programming. 

The Needle Exchange Program of Asheville will update you upon return
from Portland. In the meantime, if you have questions about needle
exchange and HIV/AIDS or hepatitis, call (800) 342-AIDS, (800) 344-SIDA
(information in Spanish), or (888) 443-7232 (hepatitis hotline). 

We are at your service. 

Michael J. Harney Jr., NEPA coordinator 
Marty L. Prairie, consultant 

MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk