Springfield to vote on needle exchange program

Springfield's Board of Health will vote needle exchange February 21

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Board of Health on Wednesday night heard what people think about a needle exchange program opening in Springfield.

The goal is to help prevent deadly overdoses, HIV, and other health issues related to drug use.

Needle access program preventing HIV infection still a controversy

Needle exchanges also provide health services, access to drug treatment programs and the overdose-reversal drug.

How do needle exchange programs affect drug use?

“They’ve been shown to be incredibly effective in engaging people and as a tool to provide further services that include things such as the distribution of Narcan, which is the drug that reverses a potentially fatal overdose,” Liz Whynott, director of HIV Prevention at Tapestry, told 22News.

Syringe access programs have been found to not increase crime or increase the amount of discarded syringes.

Springfield’s Board of Health will vote on the needle exchange program February 21.

Massachusetts DPH wants more funding for needle exchange programs