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Ravaged By Opioid Deaths And HIV, Broward Approves Needle Exchange. Miami Is The Model

Miami Herald
Sterile needles available for free as part of the IDEA Needle Exchange, a UM program that provides addicts with clean needles to prevent transmission of disease and Narcan, a substance that reverses opioid overdoses.

In the text of the ordinance authorizing a needle exchange in Broward County, commissioners ticked off a list of alarming public health statistics: 1,642 opioid overdoses in 2017, more than 21,000 people living with HIV, 387 heroin- and fentanyl-related deaths in 2018.

Needle exchanges are designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among drug users by providing clean syringes and help reverse opioid overdoses by distributing naloxone directly to people who use drugs, as well as offering them access to other services like testing for hepatitis.

After a three-year test run, Miami’s exchange, the first in the state of Florida and run by the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s harm reduction research group, has become the gold standard.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.

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