Pubdate: Mon, 24 Oct 2005
Source: Fayetteville Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2005 Fayetteville Observer
Author: Heather NeSmith


Imagine an addiction so strong that every day you crave your IV drug 
of choice you put yourself at risk for contracting numerous diseases 
such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Many addicts who live in and around our 
surrounding communities live this life every day. However, there is a 
solution to curb some of the rates for contracting these diseases 
among addicts in our community, but we do not embrace it.

House Bill 411 is the Clean Syringe Act and would supply funds for 
clean syringes to be exchanged for dirty needles. Community members 
need to campaign for this bill to be passed. It will not advocate and 
increase the popularity of IV drug use, but more so cut down on the 
transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C.

This program has been piloted in several other large communities and 
has been very successful. We would all benefit if this bill is 
passed, both economically and socially. From a fiscal point of view, 
AIDS treatment with the new combination drugs can cost $15,000 a year 
per person. The annual cost of a clean syringe program is a fraction 
of that amount.

Please reach out to Rep. Thomas Wright of Wilmington, the primary 
sponsor of the bill, and help him advocate this bill to be passed. It 
will make North Carolina a better place to live.

Heather NeSmith, Fayetteville
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