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, KLAS reported.
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.