Harm Reduction : Needle Exchange Programs ( Neps ) Essay

795 Words Nov 12th, 2016 4 Pages
Harm Reduction: Needle Exchange Programs (NEPs)
What is harm reduction?
Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs ("Principles of Harm Reduction").
Due to the harm that injecting drug use is causing on the spread of disease, we must have this needle exchange program to lower the odds of the spread. Common diseases spread through intravenous users are HIV, hepatitis B and, hepatitis C. West Virginia is having a huge heroin epidemic and needle exchange programs are popping up in hopes to help lessen the diseases spread among users. The odds are in our favor here in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia.
There are now at least four active needle exchanges in West Virginia: Huntington, Charleston, Wheeling and Morgantown. Martinsburg is considering a program. "Both the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have determined that needle exchange programs have been an “effective component” in reducing the rates of communicable diseases including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV" (Vincent). "It’s no secret that heroin use is on the rise in the U.S. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that heroin use has soared in recent years, from 373,000 yearly users in 2007 to 669,000 in 2012".Addicts are…

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