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Lawmakers Highlight Needle Exchange Proposal

January 18th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
Florida ranks the highest in new HIV cases in the country, in large part due to opioid addicts sharing dirty needles. Nearly 5,000 were newly diagnosed last year alone.
To combat the spread of the blood transmitted diseases lawmakers are proposing a statewide needle exchange program. It would be modeled after a program successfully implemented in Miami-Dade county, by not only providing clean needles for addicts, but also offering addiction resources and education for those who want to to get clean. Representative Shervin Jones is sponsoring the Legislation.
“This act would bring about a program that would offer educational tools that would help prevent substance abuse and act as a liaison for victims of the opioid crisis and other substance abuse epidemics,” said Jones. “We must understand that by educating the public about this crisis and how we can use preventative measures, could be the difference between life and death. “
Treatment for a single person infected with HIV costs tax payers an average of $379,000 throughout their life time. It’s roughly the same amount of money that it takes to run a needle exchange facility for a year.

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