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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 8, 2019 03:34 PM
From: Representative Ed Gainey
To: All House members
Subject: Creation of a Statewide Needle Exchange
Needle usage puts drug dependent people at greater risk of contracting and spreading diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most new hepatitis C infections and one in ten new HIV infections come from sharing needles. Currently, state law does not permit safe needle and syringe exchanges. These programs successfully exist in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia because of local ordinance and have been found to significantly reduce the spread of diseases without increasing drug use -- there are many other communities who could benefit from such a program.

As such, I will be introducing legislation to allow needle and syringe exchange programs to operate in all areas of the state, while also helping individuals suffering with substance abuse get connected with treatment programs. The advantages of creating an exchange program warrant a change to the law. Not only will this improve public safety by reducing the prevalence of dirty needles on our streets, but this measure will hopefully enable more Pennsylvanians with drug dependency to seek help.

Please join me in creating this program to increase our public safety. Thank you for your consideration.