The heroin/opioid epidemic is ravaging the United States. The numbers have caused the powers-that-be to think of new ways to deal with addicts and some of the solutions seem to be on some real if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em stuff. The latest strategy is coming out of Nevada. The state will be the first to dispense clean needles to the public in vending machines.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Las Vegas unveiled the experiment Wednesday, the Las Vegas Journal-Review reported. According to Southern Nevada health officials, the initiative is part of an effort to reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C, KLASreported.
The program is a joint effort between the Southern Nevada Health District, the Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society and Trac-B Exchange, which developed the machine, the Journal-Review reported. The thrust behind the idea is that making clean needles and other gear available will reduce the spread of blood-related infections among drug users who would otherwise share the needles.
The needles will be free of charge and will come with a complete kit which includes: “10 syringes, a rubber tourniquet, a disposal container for used needles, alcohol swabs and Band-Aids.” Users will be required to get a card that will allow them to get up to two kits per week.