California: Lawmakers Try Again to Let Addicts Buy Needles Minus Prescription
May 9, 2003
California state Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) is making another attempt to cut down on deadly diseases like HIV and hepatitis by allowing drug addicts to buy up to 30 hypodermic needles at a time without a doctor's prescription. "This bill saves lives ... this bill saves dollars," Vasconcellos said Thursday before the Senate approved his proposal 21-11. Supporters say the bill would make clean hypodermic needles available to addicts who do not have access to needle exchange programs, thereby reducing the number of cases of diseases transmitted by sharing syringes. Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a similar bill last year, saying it would eliminate the "aggressive intervention efforts" available when addicts exchange used needles for clean ones.Adapted from:
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.