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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Jersey Assembly Approves Clean Needle Bill

The easiest way to spread virus and disease is through intravenous drug use, whereby addicts share their needles because access to clean needles is not always easy. In the past, coming across clean needles required a prescription, but, as the world and the country became more aware of the real dangers associated with sharing needles, officials have made access much easier by not requiring adults to have a prescription to obtain syringes.

New Jersey is posed to be the 49th state to allow its citizens to acquire needles without a prescription. The New Jersey Assembly has approved a bill that, if signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, would make that possible. The Governor has yet to comment as to whether or not he will sign the bill. An article on NJ.com stated that as a U.S. Attorney, Christie was against needle exchange programs, but during his 2009 campaign for governor, he claimed that he might change his position on the issue. His spokesman, Michael Drewniak, said, “The bill will get careful review and consideration.”

Many states repealed bans on over the counter syringe sales after studies showed drug users would purchase needles in pharmacies instead of the streets if they could. New Jersey has had a ban on such transactions since 1955. Fortunately, the state has five different needle exchange programs to aid those in need of clean needles.

If New Jersey repeals the ban, then Delaware will be the only state that still requires a prescription for syringes.

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