Pubdate: Sat, 23 Mar 2002
Source: Trenton Times, The (NJ)
Copyright: 2002 The Times
Author: Dawn Day, Ph.D., director of the Dogwood Center


To the Editor:

The Times is to be congratulated for its March 17 front article on needle
exchange ( Bridge Toward Prevention ).  When it comes to preventing AIDS
among injecting drug users, needle exchange programs are essential.  But New
Jersey has focused too much on the question of publicly funded needle
exchanges.  We also need to eliminate the law that requires pharmacists to
have a doctor's prescription before they can sell syringes.  New Jersey is
one of only six states that require a prescription to purchase syringes. 
Changing this law will make privately funded needle exchanges legal also.

And what sense does it make to encourage people who inject drugs to use a
sterile needle with each injection when, at the same time, we are arresting
them for owning a syringe? New Jersey needs to remove needles and related
drug paraphernalia from New Jersey's drug paraphernalia law. With one of the
highest drug-related AIDS rates in the nation, New Jersey can ill afford to
ignore the scientifically based advice on AIDS prevention being given us by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical

Dawn Day

Princeton Township
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