Syringe Vending Machines To Be Installed In Nevada; Clean Syringes And Safe Sex Supplies To Be Distributed Free Of Cost

First Posted: Apr 17, 2017 06:18 AM EDT

The annual death toll of people who lost their lives to drug overdose has been rising at alarming rates. In addition, the number of reports of HIV positive cases among drug addicts has also been on the rise. In an effort to reduce the spread of diseases caused due to unhealthy practices of sharing or reusing needles, syringe vending machines will soon be set up in different locations in all major cities. Nevada will be the first state to host such syringe vending machines that will provide free of cost clean syringes.

The novel initiative is the outcome of the collaborative efforts of Southern Nevada Health District administration, the Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society (NARES) and the Trac-B Exchange program. Apart from the syringes, each gift-wrapped kit also contains alcohol wipes, safe sex supplies and a disposal box, Valley News Live reported.

The concept of setting up these syringe exchange centers is not entirely new. Vending machines that provide clean syringes are already operational in various cities of Australia, Europe and Puerto Rico. However, setting up of such machines in the U.S. was earlier restricted due to federal regulations that banned funding such syringe exchange programs. In the wake of the rising concerns associated with heroin crisis, the congress decided to lift the ban in January 2016.

Fox 31 Denver reported that three of these machines will be up and operational by the end of next month. Unlike the crack pipe vending machines that were set up in Vancouver, Canada, in 2014, where anyone can get a pipe by paying a quarter, the syringe vending machines in Nevada will be free of cost. People who wish to access these machines can register their names in the Trac-B Exchange program, upon which they will be issued a card and a pin code. They can swipe the card and punch the pin code to get their free kit from the machines any time they want, but restricted to twice a week. It is expected that these machines may contribute in the prevention of spreading infections like HIV and hepatitis C among compulsive drug users.

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