WAVE 3 News Editorial - November 17, 2015: Needle Exchange

(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Intravenous drug users are supposed to exchange used syringes for clean ones to reduce the spread of disease. That is the theory behind the needle exchange program. In practical reality, that does not happen.

Clean syringes become dirty quickly and are discarded for others to pick up and use. Many who come to get the clean needles do not bring used ones to exchange, some repeatedly so. Some take a bag full of needles and share with others.

Kudos to WAVE 3 News investigative reporter John Boel for exposing the unfortunate consequence of a policy that was intended to help prevent disease.

The problem is very little counseling is happening. Users are being told that if you are caught and tell a police officer you have needles from the exchange, you won't be charged with drug possession.

It is time to re-look this legislation that seems to just be adding to the needle supply rather than taking needles out of the system. Or at the very least, make sure the intention of the legislation is followed to the letter.

Copyright 2015 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.