Thursday, May 07, 2009

Larger cities may get needle exchange option

Excellent news! SB 188 - authorizing local-control needle exchange programs in Texas' largest cities and counties - passed out of the House Public Health Committee this afternoon on a 7-3 vote! Outstanding!

Voting in favor of the legislation, according to the needle-exchange focused blog, Sifting the Haystack, were: Garnet Coleman, John E. Davis, Veronica Gonzales, Susan King (a professional nurse), Elliott Naishtat, Vicki Truitt, and Doctor John Zerwas. Three of those - Davis, Truitt and Zerwas - are pickups from the House floor vote in 2007 that authorized a pilot needle exchange program in San Antonio.

Now SB 188 heads to the Calendars Committee, where I'm pleased to see that the Chairman, Brian McCall, was actually one of the authors of a companion needle exchange bill - HB 272 by Ortiz. That makes me optimistic SB 188 will get a vote on the House floor. Once there, SB 188 stands an excellent chance of passage. The Bexar County pilot last session passed on a 71-60 vote, so many members have already gone on the record in favor of the idea.

RELATED: Needle exchange, treatment and prevention.


Anonymous said...

As a former addict, I probably should be more enthused about this bill but honestly I've read the text and I don't understand how this is supposed to work in practice.

You know, if you know which pharmacy to go to you can just buy some or get them from your local dealer without the hassel of "drug treatment" offers etc.

Also, drug addicts are pretty smart about how to cleanse a needle before it is shared.

I think it is a good idea in theory but honestly, unless they put some serious money behind ACTUALLY getting people in rehab substantial enough for IV drug users. Not really sure what the point is.

Also, not sure drug enforcement is not going to be waiting around the corner.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Are they going to provide free or (yuck) an exchange program for condoms too?

Many addicts engauge in other high risk activities including unprotected sex.

If they are really serious about disease control then they should address this as well.

Anonymous said...

Are they gonna change the wording in the paraphernalia laws so this will work this time?