Press Releases

04102019CM0383rSPRINGFIELD – Illinois organizations will have the ability to create more clean needle exchange programs thanks to a measure from State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that was signed into law today.

“By allowing for more needle exchange programs, we’re acknowledging that the Opioid crisis is a public health crisis,” Bush said. “Needle exchange programs have proven to be effective in reducing the spread of blood-borne illnesses and serve as a way to connect individuals who are battling substance-use disorders with treatment options.”

Senate Bill 1828 creates the Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction Act, which allows organizations to establish and operate needle and hypodermic syringe access programs and sets forth objectives and specified service requirements under such a program.

Previously, needle exchange programs could only be established as part of lawful research, teaching or chemical analysis.

“Needle exchange programs have been heavily studied and have been found to be an effective way to combat the spread of disease,” Bush said. “This is a smart, safe approach to a public health crisis and I’m pleased that Gov. Pritzker signed this important bill into law.”

The Centers for Disease Control recognizes clean needle exchange programs as effective public health interventions that reduce the spread of blood-borne illnesses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.

Many federally funded studies have shown needle exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV and other illnesses, do not lead to increased drug use or criminal activity, and serve as a vehicle to link IV drug users to health care and substance use disorder treatment.

Category: Press Releases

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