Pubdate: Wed, 16 Aug 2006
Source: Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, NJ)
Copyright: 2006 Courier-Post
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


Re: "N.J. is woefully behind on needle exchanges" (editorial, July 26).

Needle exchanges have been proven to reduce the spread of HIV without 
increasing drug use. They also serve as a bridge to drug treatment 
for an especially hard to reach population.

Drug users are not the only beneficiaries. U.S. Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention researchers estimate that 57 percent of AIDS 
cases among women and 36 percent of overall AIDS cases in the United 
States are linked to injection-drug use or sex with partners who 
inject drugs. This easily preventable public health crisis is a 
direct result of zero-tolerance laws that restrict access to clean syringes.

In the interest of containing the HIV epidemic, let's hope New 
Jersey's tough-on-drugs politicians acknowledge the drug war's 
tremendous collateral damage sooner rather than later.

ROBERT SHARPE, Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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