Re: [BYMSMworkgroup] Needle Policy to Be Eased
- Any word about the expected CDC Youth RFP?
"S. Alex Williams" <pansaw@...> wrote:
Sacramento Bee (12.28.04): John Hill
A new California law taking effect Saturday, Jan. 1, will ease nonprescription needle sales in cities and counties that choose to participate in a five-year pilot project. Individual pharmacies can elect to participate or not in jurisdictions opting-in to the demonstration project. However, even urban districts that are preparing for the change will not be ready by Saturday.
Sacramento County Health Officer Glennah Trochet has twice convened a group to discuss project details. However, Trochet is still working to enlist key partners such as law enforcement officials, said Toni Moore, the county's alcohol and drug administrator. Once the group reaches consensus, it will take its proposal to the Board of Supervisors.
The program could gain momentum if major pharmacy chains participate, as they have in other states, said Glenn Backes, national health policy director for the Drug Policy Alliance, a proponent of the law. Chains' involvement would make selling needles to IV drug users more mainstream, so that "no one has to be a pioneer," he said.
Rite Aid has not yet been contacted by state, county or city authorities about the program, said Jody Cook, company spokesperson. "Once that happens, we would intend to participate," she said.
"Some [customers] come in and want to do it already," said Frank Cable, a pharmacist at South Sacramento Pharmacy who supports the program. Cable suspects news of the program has spread among IV drug users by word of mouth.
Participating pharmacists registered with local authorities must agree to educate their customers on drug treatment and safe disposal of syringes. The new law makes it a crime to dispose of a needle in a park or other public place. It also excludes from the definition of illegal drug paraphernalia containers that hold needles, a provision that does not expire as the law's others do in 2010.
S. Alex Williams
( (646) 420-1979
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