While the use of heroin and other opiates is on the rise in
San Luis Obispo County, a local needle exchange program is getting some
dirty needles off the streets and reducing the risks of disease,
according to a new report by the county Department of Public Health.
Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors heard an annual report on the
county Syringe Exchange Program, a service that accepts contaminated
needles and sells back clean needles in a safe, no-questions-asked
environment to protect users — many of them drug addicts — from
spreading HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis C.
The local program came to be
when the Board of Supervisors authorized a simpler version in 2006.
That program was expanded in 2012.