Unable To Arrest Opioid Epidemic, Red States Warm To Needle Exchanges

KHN, 14 June 2017
Author: Shefali Luthra
“A coalition — composed of public health advocates, former addicts and the law enforcement officers who used to harass and arrest them — bent on battling sky-high rates of opioid abuse. With the goal of curbing the spread of disease and preventing overdose, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) has helped legalize needle exchanges, enabled safe disposal of used syringes and enacted protections for people who carry drug paraphernalia. The shift is at odds with national rhetoric. U.S. Attorney General has instructed his state counterparts to take a hard line in the war on drugs, encouraging arrest and jail time for relatively low-level infractions. But even some of the most conservative corners of the country are moving in the other direction.”
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