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Needle Exchange

NEWS
June 2, 1995
It has been only nine months since Baltimore City began its needle exchange program. But the experiment to reduce the frequency with which AIDS is transmitted from one drug user to another by sharing the same hypodermic has already been declared a success.That assessment is based on how many drug addicts are participating. So far, more than 2,300 persons have traded their used hypodermic needles for new ones. That's five times more than was predicted for the entire first year. But it's still only a fraction of the estimated 48,000 drug addicts in the city.
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NEWS
By Diana K. Sugg and Diana K. Sugg,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Ivan Penn contributed to this article | January 26, 1997
In a city where 80 percent of new AIDS cases are linked to injection drug use, a needle-exchange program that is set to expire has been found to sharply reduce the spread of the deadly virus.Troubling conditions in Baltimore, including thousands and thousands of IV drug users, created the perfect laboratory for researchers to directly prove something few others could: that hard-core addicts who trade in their dirty needles for clean ones have cut their risk of getting AIDS by 40 percent.Baltimore County addicts are now contracting AIDS at a higher rate than those in the city, according to a sample comparison of the two areas by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University who are doing an independent evaluation.
NEWS
January 10, 1994
Urban Gardening Expenditures QuestionedEric Siegel's Dec. 13 article, "Baltimore urban gardening program endangered by cut in federal funds," offers an example of a mindset that has brought this country to the brink of financial ruin (and I'm optimistic here -- evidence says we're already well over the brink and heading for an inevitable crash).According to the article, the urban gardening program has provided federal funds to Baltimore communities to help them set up flower and vegetable gardens through the University of Maryland's Cooperative Extension Service.
NEWS
August 12, 1991
The traditional battles against AIDS and drug abuse came under scathing criticism this week when the National Commission on AIDS pointed out the obvious: Dealing with these twin scourges separately is myopic. The commission found that a full third of AIDS cases in this country stem from intravenous drug use -- either through sharing of infected needles or through sexual contact with an HIV-infected drug user.The commission recommended a practical approach -- expanded drug treatment programs linked with needle-exchange programs so that everyone who wants help can get it.Therein lies the controversy.
NEWS
By From staff reports | April 11, 1998
Prince George's gets go-ahead to create needle-exchange 0) planPrince George's County won permission from the General Assembly yesterday to create a program to distribute clean needles to drug addicts.The county, which has the second-highest AIDS rate among Maryland jurisdictions, has been considering following Baltimore in setting up a needle-exchange program. Baltimore's program has been credited with significantly slowing the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome by letting addicts trade dirty needles for clean ones.
NEWS
September 21, 2005
Recent studies by researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins show a generational divide among users of the city's needle-exchange program, with older heroin addicts much more likely to use the program than younger, particularly white, addicts. While the program distributes about 6,500 clean syringes a week in exchange for dirty needles and offers HIV tests, drug treatment information and about 250 slots for methadone treatment, younger users are resistant. City Health Department officials say only 6 percent of the program's enrollees over the years have been younger than 25, and in Baltimore, heroin addicts in their teens and early 20s tend to be white, whereas blacks tend to take up hard drugs in their late 20s and 30s. Health officials are now aiming to target users under 30 through a special grant.
NEWS
By John Fairhall and John Fairhall,Evening Sun Staff yNB | August 7, 1991
State and city public health officials have brushed aside a controversial recommendation by the National Commission on AIDS that drug addicts be given legal access to needles.The officials say such a drastic step might be worth studying, but should not be taken until there's greater evidence of its effectiveness in reducing AIDS virus infections.The commission said yesterday there's already evidence of the effectiveness of needle-exchange programs operating in Tacoma, Wash., and a few other cities.
NEWS
September 7, 1993
Two hundred years after the city appointed its first public health officers, Baltimore faces a health threat more complex than raw sewage in the streets and periodic outbreaks of cholera, typhoid or yellow fever. The biggest challenges for public health now lie in the political arena, as illustrated in such issues as the city's proposed needle exchange program for intravenous drug abusers.Last session in Annapolis, a bill granting the city permission to establish a pilot program failed in committee.
NEWS
September 1, 1995
In the coming months Baltimore is expected to double the number of addicts participating in its needle exchange program and add 1,200 new drug treatment slots. But such action will hardly make a dent in what used to be called the drug war.Few call it a "war" anymore. How can they when even the break-up of the Cali drug cartel in Colombia can't be viewed as a decisive victory? There's always another dealer out there. That's not meant to sound defeatist. It's being realistic. Reality is why the city gives addicts free needles.
NEWS
April 20, 1994
Bashing Baltimore City has often been an easy way for suburban legislators to make waves, particularly in election years. However, this year they resisted that easy temptation. In a remarkable demonstration of open-mindedness and experimentation, they approved Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's request that Baltimore be allowed to see whether a needle exchange program will reduce the spread of AIDS.Baltimore City's population of 730,000 people includes an estimated 30,000 heroin addicts and 10,000 cocaine addicts.
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