New York Times (09/25/95) P. A14
The National Academy of Sciences' recent conclusion that
needle-exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV should also
reduce people's fears that such programs encourage drug use,
according to the editors of the New York Times. The academy
found no evidence that these programs increase the frequency
of drug injection among participants or that they coax others
into drug abuse. Indeed, needle-exchange programs frequently
help reduce drug use by referring users to drug treatment
clinics. The academy urged states that require prescriptions
for selling or possessing injection paraphernalia to repeal
their laws, but would leave it up to individual communities to
determine whether they will create needle-exchange programs.
However, the editors note, states and cities where drug
addicts account for a significant number of HIV infections
should take the academy's findings as a sign to proceed.