needle-exchange programs

Needle Exchange Bill Hits DeSantis’ Desk

Jun 14, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday received a bill that would authorize needle-exchange programs across the state. 

Needle Exchanges Find New Champions Among Republicans

May 9, 2019
Sammy Mack / WLRN News

Once repellent to conservative politicians, needle exchanges are now being endorsed and legalized in Republican-controlled states.

At least four legislatures have considered bills to allow hypodermic needle exchanges, and two states, Georgia and Idaho, made them legal this year. In each of these states, the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans and the governor is a Republican.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

The state legislative session is over and the fate of a bill that would allow the expansion of needle exchanges throughout Florida is now up to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Infectious Disease Elimination Programs bill creates a legal mechanism for counties to authorize programs that swap clean syringes for dirty ones. Needle exchanges have been shown to reduce the spread of blood borne infections—like HIV and hepatitis C—among injection drug users.

The bill passed 111-3 in the Florida House and unanimously in the Florida Senate.

Hansel Tookes

The Florida Legislature has approved a bill that will allow the expansion of needle exchanges throughout Florida.

The Infectious Disease Elimination Programs bill—which passed a house vote on Wednesday and has already passed in the Florida Senate—creates a legal mechanism for counties to authorize programs that swap clean syringes for dirty ones. Needle exchanges have been shown to reduce the spread of blood borne infections—like HIV and hepatitis C—among intravenous drug users.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

There's a proposal in Tallahassee right now that could make it easier for injection drug users to trade dirty needles for fresh ones -- preventing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

A trial project in Miami Dade County is the only legal needle exchange in Florida. The bill would let the other counties to create something similar.

WMFE

The 2019 legislative session begins Tuesday. Over 60 days, lawmakers will tackle the states’ biggest issues, including school safety, education and health care.

Legislation aiming to expand Miami-Dade’s successful needle exchange program to other counties is advancing through the Senate. The three-year-old program has even changed some doubters’ minds.

Florida could soon allow sterile needle exchanges across the state.

Senate Backs Expansion Of Needle Exchange Program

Mar 5, 2018

Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, agreed Friday to scale back his efforts to take a needle-exchange program statewide.

Senate Poised To Pass Needle Exchange Expansion

Feb 9, 2018

The Senate is inching closer to approving a bill that would allow hospitals, clinics, medical schools and substance-abuse treatment programs to begin offering needle-and-syringe exchange programs to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV.

Needle Exchange Program Passes Committee

Jan 25, 2018

New legislation expanding a needle-exchange program moved through both the Florida House and Senate today. 

Amanda Rabines

An overdose revival drug called Naloxone, commonly referred to as its brand name Narcan, can be bought over-the-counter in 14 states, but Florida is not one of them.

With the state’s overdose count increasing, the University of Miami’s IDEA Exchange Center, Florida’s first public clean syringe program, has recently been distributing the revival drug for free at its base location, in 1636 NW 7th avenue in Miami.

Needle Exchange Pilot Ready For Full Senate

Dec 7, 2015

Hoping to stem the spread of diseases such as HIV, a Senate committee Thursday approved a long-discussed proposal that would create a pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

For the past three years, public health activists have been trying to convince Florida lawmakers to support a needle-exchange program to fight the HIV epidemic in South Florida, and for the past three years they’ve been turned down.

One Miami activist refuses to wait for lawmakers. George Gibson is an ordained minister. Nearly everyone calls him Elder as in a church elder.

He says his needle-exchange program is related to his religious work.

“I see it as being an AIDS ministry,” he said.