In Nevada: First Syringe Vending Machines Installed In US [VIDEO]
The state of Nevada is the first to install syringe vending machines in the US that aims to lower incidences of HIV infection and Hepatitis C from sharing needles among drug users.
Las Vegas will be seeing these machines in three locations by next month. The machines come with boxes each containing clean needles, alcohol wipes, tourniquet, disposal box for needles, a safe sex kit and help information sheet that can be availed of without any cost up to twice a week only. They would need to be part of the program, Trac-B exchange by Harm Reduction Center-Las Vegas.
Drug users who are registered with the program are allowed to use the machine. They are given a card and a code to be able to get a kit from it, the Huffington Post reported.
This kind of initiative has been previously done in Europe and other countries. In Canada, for example, crack pipe vending machines were installed by an organization in Vancouver. They dispense crack pipes to anyone for a mere $0.25. In 2009, vending machines for drug paraphernalia in drug counseling facilities was started in Puerto Rico, a US island territory. Its purpose was for reaching young drug addicts to avail of their counseling services.
Setting up syringe vending machines in Nevada for drug users has the potential to minimize their risk of getting HIV and Hepatitis C virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed Clark County as an area where the transmission of HIV at 9 percent is higher than the average rate in the country. Moreover, the Hepatitis C transmission among young people who inject drugs is at an alarming rate of 45 percent.
Liz Evans of New York Harm Reduction Educators explained that such programs also help make people see drug users differently-with kindness, the NBC News said.