Syringe Exchange Programs Federal Funding Ban

SEPsignThe Chesapeake Chapter has been collaborating with the national organization’s CNO, Carole Treston, and Maryland’s nursing and public health leadership to advocate for an end to syringe exchange programs federal funding ban.

See the Letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Goals of SEP

  1. Provide clean syringes
  2. Reduce circulation of contaminated syringes in the community
  3. Link drug users to ancillary services

Baltimore’s SEP

  • Established in August 1994
  • Only legal program in Maryland
  • 7 mobile sites (2 vans) and 1 fixed site

The Evidence*

  • New Haven 33% reduction in HIV transmission (1)
  • New York 70% reduction in HIV transmission (2)
  • No increase in discarded needles (3)
  • No increase in crime (4)
  • No increase in drug use (5)
  • No increase in permissive attitudes among youth (6)

Learn more about the issues of drug policy at the Drug Policy Alliance and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

1. Kaplan E and Heimer R. “HIV Incidence Among New Haven Needle Exchange Participants: Updated Estimates from Syringe Tracking and Testing Data.” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 10: 175–176, 1995.

2. Jarlais, D. C. D., M. Marmor, D. Paone, S. Titus, Q. Shi, T. Perlis, B. Jose and S. R. Friedman (1996). “HIV incidence among injecting drug users in New York City syringe-exchange programmes.” The Lancet 348(9033): 987-991.

3. Doherty, M. C., B. Junge, P. Rathouz, R. S. Garfein, E. Riley and D. Vlahov (2000). “The effect of a needle exchange program on numbers of discarded needles: a 2-year follow-up.” Am J Public Health 90(6): 936-939.

4. Marx, M. A., B. Crape, R. S. Brookmeyer, B. Junge, C. Latkin, D. Vlahov and S. A. Strathdee (2000). “Trends in crime and the introduction of a needle exchange program.” Am J Public Health 90(12): 1933-1936.

5. Vlahov et al., Reductions in high-risk drug use behaviors among participants in the Baltimore needle exchange program. JAIDS Hum Retro. 1997;16 (5):400-406.

6. Marx, M., H. Brahmbhatt, P. Beilenson, R. Brookmeyer, S. Strathdee, C. Alexander and D. Vlahov (2001). “Impact of Needle Exchange Programs on Adolescent Perceptions About Illicit Drug Use.” AIDS and Behavior 5(4): 379-386.

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